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The HACCP concept
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DescriptionThe HACCP concept
Hazard: A biological, chemical or physical agent in food that can cause an adverse health effect (Codex 1997b).
Critical Control Point (CCP): A step at which control can be applied and is necessary to prevent or remove hazards or decrease them to an adequate level (Codex 1997b).
Prerequisite programmes: Procedures including good manufacturing practices needed before and during the implementation of HACCP. They provide the basis for the HACCP system. (WHO, 1999).
Control measure: Actions used to prevent or eliminate hazards or decrease them to an acceptable level (Codex 1997b).
Critical limit: A criterion that separates acceptability from unacceptability (Codex 1997b).
Decision tree: A logical chain of questions to be asked for all hazards at each process stage. The answers lead the HACCP team to determine the CCPs (Mortimore and Wallace, 2001).
Flow diagram: A systematic representation of the sequence of steps used in the production of a foodstuff (Codex 1997b).
2.4.1 The principles of HACCP
Initially the HACCP system was composed of three principles. Later, it was extended by ICMSF (1988) and NACMCF (1989) to the seven principles that have been included into Codex Alimentarius (Vela and Fernandez, 2003). As said by Bertolini et al (2007), in order for the incidence of food safety hazards to final customers to be prevented the application of the seven principles of HACCP has become an obligatory requirement in food manufacturing. According to Codex, the seven principles of HACCP are as follows (NACMCF 1998; Unnevehr and Jensen 1999; Unnevehr 2000; Boccas et al. 2001)
Principle 1: Conduct a hazard Analysis.
Principle 2: Determine the critical control points.
Principle 3: Establish critical limits for preventive measures associated with each identified CCP.
Principle 4: Establish a system to monitor control of the CCP.
Principle 5: Establish the corrective action to be taken when monitoring indicates that a particular CCP is not under control.
Principle 6: Establish procedures for verification to confirm that the HACCP system is working effectively.
Principle 7: Establish appropriate documentation concerning all procedures and records appropriate to the HACCP principles and their application.
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