A food safety program is a must to ensure that consumers get to eat food that is hygienic and nutritive. The main aim of a food safety program should be to see to it that food that is consumed is free of pathogens. This is particularly important today, when food is no more purely localized. Food grown in a part of the world gets processed in different ways and gets eaten in another part of the world, usually many thousand miles away.
To ensure that there is uniform safety and nutrition in this global food chain and that the food is hygienic, regulatory bodies around the world have promulgated a food safety program that consists of safety and hygiene standards. Such a food safety program is collectively called the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP).
The HACCP is a food safety program that takes a scientific approach to ensuring that the hazards associated with meat production and production of other food materials are eliminated and neutralized by the use of set standards of production and distribution. This food safety program is a comprehensive program that is implemented right across the food chain from start to finish.
As a food safety program, HACCP believes in the old adage that prevention is better than cure. It lays very high emphasis on prevention of food borne pathogens getting into the food chain, rather than taking firefighting measures later, when these steps may not be very effective. The HACCP insists on the application of systematic, scientific and logical standards and principles in meeting its goals of ensuring food hygiene and safety.
As the term suggests, HIPAA is a food safety program that consists of both analysis of hazards present in the food and identification of critical points, controlling which is the key to ensuring the success of this food safety program. It seeks to put in place controls at various critical points of the food chain. Not only should the process in control; there should be documentable proof of it, too.
Three approaches of the food safety program
The HACCP food safety program aims to bring about food safety by controlling and preventing three sources of hazards:
Biological hazards: Aims to control the infusion to bacteria, viruses such as E.coli and many other related ones, and molds;
Chemical hazards: The HACCP food safety program ensures that chemicals such as sanitizers, cleaning agents, antibiotics and others do not cause hazard to food;
Physical hazards: This is to ensure that physical objects such as shards, glass, nails and many other related ones do not cause hazards into the HACCP food safety program.