Determining Control Measures in HACCP

CONTENTS

  1. Introduction
  2. What are Control Measures?
    • Critical Control Point (CCP)
    • Prerequisite Programme (PRP)
    • Operational Prerequisite Programme (oPRP)
    • Control Point (CP)
    • Quality Control Point (QCP)
  3. Determining Control Measures
    • Requirements for Determining Control Measure
    • Risk Assessment and ‘Significance’
    • Determination Models
  4. Definitions
  5. References

1 Introduction

Since its inception, HACCP has always been a risk assessment and management tool design to help food companies identify specific hazards within their process, determine their significance and develop appropriate controls to ensure they do not reach the consumer. Over the decades, numerous food safety standards, codes of practice, regulatory directives have adopted the principles of HACCP and in the process put their own unique interpretation on how exactly these principles are effected.

The almost ubiquitous adoption of HACCP as the risk tool of choice by the food industry is a testament to its enduring scientific approach. It has facilitated the development of a safer food supply chain and provided food safety practitioners with a common work-flow, logic and language from which to work and communicate. It has also provided one of the essential ingredients required for objective auditing – a Standard. As is the case in many other industries, the food sector has found an important and valuable friend in risk assessment and more specifically HACCP.

However as with any good, lifelong friend we become aware more than others of their inherent character uniqueness and challenges. It does not prevent us benefiting from the relationship but it can often make things difficult. When we speak of HACCP it is clear that risk assessment and determination of control measures is an aspect which many users find difficult if not mystifying on occasion.
To put it simply, the basic principle is to install within the process and operation control measures which are appropriate for the specific hazards and the risk they pose to the final consumer.

HACCP requires the user to identify these potential hazards. Next, the user determines the significance of these hazards by applying risk assessment techniques, the output of which is a measure of risk which then allows us to put in place appropriate control measures. Over the decades, various standards have attempted to define how this should be done and in the process have introduced their own unique terms, language, scope, methodology and workflows. Some of these have been good and helped the user meet requirements but much of the work has served only to confuse the user leading to HACCP plans which are unnecessarily complex and hinder the effective management of food safety.

This white paper will breakdown much of the confusion and inherent weaknesses present in many food safety standards surrounding the determination of control measures in HACCP. It will take the reader though the basic logic behind the methodology building from a basic model up to a more detailed one covering all types of control measures after which a better insight and understanding of this area will be achieved.