Food production is one of the most important industries in the world. Of course, all of this food has to be safe to eat. So, how do we ensure this is the case? And can this process be improved?
An introduction to HACCP
To ensure food safety, most countries require all food manufacturers and processors to use a food safety management system. These are useful tools to ensure safe practices are followed within a business.
One of these food safety systems is Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), a systematic approach to identifying the food storage and preparation processes and the potential risks and threats. HACCP is widely recognised as one of the most effective ways of controlling food safety. Compliance with HACCP is also a legal requirement in various countries, such as Ireland and the UK. This means all food businesses must be managed under HACCP guidelines.
HACCP dictates seven principles, which must be considered when developing a food safety management system:
- Hazard identification
- Determine the critical control points (CCPs)
- Establish critical limits (e.g., cooking temperature/time)
- Establish a system to monitor control of the CCP
- Establish the corrective action to be taken when monitoring indicates that a particular CCP is not under control
- Establish procedures for verification to confirm the HACCP system is working effectively
- Establish documentation concerning all procedures and records appropriate to these principles and their application
The current challenges of HACCP compliance
The proper implementation and preparation of a HACCP system can be difficult for food businesses to set up, maintain, and keep up to date. A lot of data needs to be collected, evaluated, and made available to regulators. This has proven to be a challenge.
In a paper from 2013 about the barriers to compliance with international HACCP regulations, various other struggles of compliance with HACCP regulations are listed. Some of the barriers are:
- Lack of awareness of HACCP regulations
- Lack of adequate staff
- Lack of self-efficacy,
and many more. What barriers food businesses face depend on many factors, such as geographical location, size of the business, and others. Yet, they often face the same core problems.
As HACCP is highly regarded in the food industry, not being compliant with its regulations often results in a severe lack of customers. Hence, this could even end up getting the business banned from importing food products into various countries.
Would it be possible to ease the process of implementing a proper food safety management system, and being compliant with HACCP regulations?
How FACT can enhance the process of being compliant with HACCP
Currently, HACCP compliance can be rather cumbersome, with repetitive manual checks and repetitive tasks. Luckily new applications are being developed constantly, which aim to improve the HACCP compliance process for both food businesses and regulators.
FACT is one of these applications. FACT is a powerful blockchain-based, GDPR compliance tool to capture events and evidence and record the data on the blockchain for audit and traceability purposes. It is flexible and fully customisable to work with existing processes in current food safety management systems. FACT is powered by Europechain and delivers a toolbox for the recording of events using a simple smart form.
With FACT, you can build templates for each process, then roll the process out and start using it immediately. All data is secure, GDPR-compliant, and available when needed.
How this makes HACCP food safety compliance easier
FACT can be aligned with the above principles to ensure real-time food manufacturing monitoring and up-to-date referencing for HACCP compliance. FACT can integrate with existing IT infrastructure or can be run as a standalone application to ensure cooperation with legal requirements.
Furthermore, FACT is designed to be intuitive and easy to understand for everyone, making sure everyone who is part of the whole process is able to use FACT.
On top of that, actions and tasks can be distributed to team members ensuring multi-level verification and reporting insights to management and regulators. Questions and sections can be configured to provide comprehensive risk assessment and alert management in the event of a HACCP breach. This would ensure problems get taken care of immediately and efficiently.
Thanks to the transparency provided by FACT and Europechain, regulators will also be able to actively monitor food businesses in an efficient and methodical manner.
- HACCP dictates seven principles, which must be considered when developing a food safety management system
- FACT improves the HACCP compliance process for both food businesses and regulators, adding value to both the food industry and business processes
- FACT’s blockchain-based framework enables to actively monitor food businesses in an efficient, methodical, and transparent manner
- FACT can be configured to follow HACCP principles to ensure real-time food manufacturing monitoring and up-to-date referencing for HACCP compliance