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Haccp Implementation

Haccp Implementation

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Technical barriers to Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point(HACCP)
q
Pedro Javier Panisello
a,*
, Peter Charles Quantick
b
a
Ashial ± Centro de Estudios Alimentarios S.L. Montcada, 7, entlo. Tortosa, Spain
b
Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, University of Lincolnshire & Humberside, Main Academic Building, Byford Pool, Lincoln LN6 7TS, UK 
Received 5 June 2000; received in revised form 28 September 2000; accepted 2 October 2000
Abstract
During the last three decades, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) has been progressively introduced and appliedfor the bene®t of the food industry. However, it should be recognised that HACCP systems have not been homogeneously im-plemented across all food industry sectors. Reasons for not implementing, maintaining and updating HACCP programmes cannotbe explained purely in terms of unwillingness by manufacturers but rather by the presence of technical barriers that may impede theapplication of the system. Technical barriers represent all those practices, attitudes and perceptions that negatively aect the un-derstanding of the HACCP concept and hence the proper and eective implementation and maintenance of the HACCP principles.This paper describes the potential barriers that may impede the correct use of HACCP before it has been implemented, during theprocess of implementation and after it has been implemented. Until barriers impeding HACCP have been resolved, HACCP systemswill not be implemented throughout the whole food chain and it will not be able to reach its full potential as prerequisite for theinternational trade of foodstus.
Ó
2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords:
HACCP implementation; Technical barriers
1. Introduction
In recent years, there have been numerous advancesin our understanding of foodborne pathogens, butfoodborne disease incidents are still increasing or at leastnot diminishing world-wide (Todd, 1994; O'Brien,Rooney, Stanwell-Smith, & Handysides, 1998; Motarj-emi & K
aferstein, 1999). Similarly, there have also beennumerous developments in process/product controltechnologies aimed to produce hygienic, wholesomefood. However, it seems that our eorts have not suc-ceeded in preventing food poisoning incidents suggest-ing that control of foodborne disease is far morecomplicated than imagined. This justi®es the continua-tion of eorts by the industry, food control ocials andconsumer associations aimed to: (1) improve the appli-cation of good hygiene practices; (2) reinforce the use of food safety management systems throughout the wholefood chain; (3) apply product/process technologies toreduce the contamination of raw foodstus; and (4) in-crease the level of education and training of food han-dlers and consumers in the safe handling of foods.In the late 1960s, the Hazard Analysis Critical Con-trol Point (HACCP) concept was developed. This is asystematic approach to the identi®cation, evaluationand control of hazards (whether biological, physical orchemical) in a particular food operation (Codex Ali-mentarius, 1997). In the 1970s, except for the low-acidcanned industry and large corporations, the concept wasnot widely adopted into daily food operations. Duringthe 1980s, the concept evolved and gained acceptancethroughout the world and in the 1990s, re-emerged tobecome the primary approach to assure the safety of thefood supply (Buchanan, 1990). Since then, there havebeen considerable eorts to harmonise the use of HA-CCP from national and international institutions tomanage food safety hazards in the food industry world-wide.Despite the fact of the mandatory HACCP systems inthe regulations of many countries, it seems that is notproperly and fully implemented and/or understood by
Food Control 12 (2001) 165±173www.elsevier.com/locate/foodcont
q
Paper presented at the First International Conference in FoodSafety in Travel and Tourism. Conference organised by NSF Inter-national, Barcelona 12±14 April 2000.
*
Corresponding author. Tel.: +34-977-44-4943; fax: +34-977-44-1886.
E-mail address:
ashial@intersoft.net (P. Javier Panisello).0956-7135/01/$ - see front matter
Ó
2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.PII: S 0 9 5 6 - 7 1 3 5 ( 0 0 ) 0 0 0 3 5 - 9
 
many companies (Panisello, Quantick, & Knowles,1999; Mortlock, Peters, & Grith, 1999). Reasons fornot implementing HACCP seem far more complicatedthan ever imagined, and cannot be solely explainedpurely in terms of unwillingness by manufacturers butrather by the presence of several technical barriers thatmay impede the bene®ts of the application of the HA-CCP system. All sectors involved in the safety of thefood chain (e.g. industry, food control agencies, con-sumer associations) must be aware of these barriers andmay allocate resources to overcome them in order tofacilitate (or reinforce) the introduction of the HACCPapproach in sectors that are particularly known to beproblematic, such as the small manufacturer, processorsof raw agricultural products, catering and restaurantsand the tourism and travelling industries.Considering the international consensus on the im-portance of safety on the production of foods, it isnecessary to make a deeper analysis of the barriers thatfood businesses may encounter on their way to achiev-ing a fully implemented HACCP system. Today's bar-riers in the developed world will be tomorrow's barriersin developing countries that are trying to reach the in-ternational marketplace. This paper discusses the po-tential technical barriers in the food and cateringindustry that may impede the use of HACCP before ithas been implemented, during the process of imple-mentation and after it has been implemented.
2. HACCP pillars
For a successful HACCP programme to be properlyimplemented, managed and maintained, the HACCPplan must be built on four basic `pillars'. These are:commitment, education and training, availability of re-sources and external pressures. However, it should benoted that anyone of these pillars may be includedwithin the seven principles of HACCP and therefore itmay be dicult to measure them or for to be seen aspriorities by the food industry. The key to successfulimplementation of HACCP will depend on how thesepillars are prioritised.
 2.1. Management commitment
Commitment must be the driving force towards theacquisition of all basic prerequisite programmes, whichrepresents the foundation of HACCP, the application of the seven principles of the system and its continuousmaintenance. The need for management commitmentwas identi®ed in the 1997 Codex Committee on FoodHygiene guidelines for application of HACCP systemwhere it states: `The successful implementation of HA-CCP requires the full commitment and involvement of management and the workforce' (Codex Alimentarius,1997). The NACMCF (1998) also highlighted the im-portance of commitment in enhancing the eectivenessof HACCP. If this commitment is not forthcoming, theninadequate resources will be made available to providethe basic prerequisites essential to develop the HACCPplan. In order to overcome this problem, it has beensuggested to integrate HACCP systems into qualitymanagement systems such as the ISO 9000 series. This isbecause within the elements of the ISO 9000 standards,management responsibility clearly appears. IntegratingHACCP and ISO 9000 provides businesses with theopportunity to bene®t from the food safety aspects of HACCP and the additional bene®ts of the managementresponsibilities within the ISO 9000 standards. It alsorequires that food businesses who are certi®ed to theISO 9000 series will be forced to include HACCP in theirquality management systems, only in those countrieswhere the legislation demands it, as under this standardall relevant legislation must be complied with in full(Mortimore & Wallace, 1998).
 2.2. Education and training 
Food hygiene training and the use of educational aids(videos, training seminars, guidelines, manuals, etc.)assist in the implementation of the HACCP system,providing HACCP teams, managers and food handlingsta with the additional technical skills required in im-plementing HACCP. Ideally, training courses should bedeveloped speci®cally for groups of personnel dependingon their level of technical expertise and their degree of responsibility in the overall HACCP process. Thiswould allow employees to apply HACCP principles totheir particular situation in the process line. The CodexAlimentarius (1997) and NACMCF (1998) guidelinesalso recognise that the need for training of personnel inthe industry is essential for the eective implementationof HACCP. This was demonstrated in a national surveyin the UK of 254 businesses by Mortlock et al. (1999).According to the authors, the use of HACCP andproper implementation of the seven principles wasfound to be signi®cantly higher in businesses with higherquali®ed managers than in businesses without any for-mal trained managers.
 2.3. Availability or resources
Adequate resources such as money, time, manpower,monitoring equipment and training aids, must be facil-itated to supervisory personnel in order to develop,monitor and verify an eective HACCP plan. The 1994Expert Technical meeting of the Food and Nutritiondivision of the Food and Agriculture Organization(Kvenberg, Schwalm, & Stingfellow, 1994) identi®edsome of the costs incurred in the development of HA-CCP systems (FAO 1994). These included: (1) the initial
166
P.J. Panisello, P.C. Quantick / Food Control 12 (2001) 165±173
 
cost of developing a HACCP plan; (2) cost of moni-toring and record-keeping; (3) costs of training; (4)management costs to oversee HACCP implementationand operation; (5) costs of monitoring equipment; (6)costs of corrective actions when the critical limit is ex-ceeded; and (7) costs of any consultant who may berequired. Therefore, availability of resources to coverthe costs of HACCP is fundamental to succeed in itsimplementation and maintenance. Thus, managementshould take a pro-active attitude to provide sta with allresources needed to maintain the operation undercontrol.
 2.4. External pressures
The food industry may be forced to implement theHACCP system due to the action of dierent sectors of pressure. These are: government, customers, authorisedocers and media (Mortimore & Wallace, 1998). Gov-ernments across the world are increasingly adoptingmandatory HACCP-based regulations as the best sys-tem to ensure the safety of foods (Lupin, 1999). In Eu-rope, this was emphasised by the European Union (EU)Council Directive 93/43 (1993) on the Hygiene of Foodstus that states that food business operators shallidentify any step in their activities critical to ensuringfood safety and ensure that adequate procedures areidenti®ed, implemented, maintained, and reviewed onthe basis of HACCP principles.Companies are closely monitored by their customersbecause they want to be con®dent that the food beingpurchased is safe. In this regard, companies are usuallyasked to pass an independent audit to check whethergood manufacturing practice (GMP), good hygienepractice (GHP) and HACCP principles are fully im-plemented and strictly followed in each step of theprocess.Authorised ocers are also a source of pressure tocompanies since they are responsible for inspectingpremises to check compliance with the law. In the UK,all food businesses are required to be registered with thelocal environmental health department. Inspection fre-quencies vary depending on the nature of the businesswith high-risk premises being inspected more frequentlythan low-risk premises. Environmental Health Ocers(EHOs) have wide powers under the UK Food SafetyAct 1990 and regulations made under it to enter foodbusinesses at any reasonable time. They can examinefood, equipment and documentation and take samplesof food for analysis (Rooney, 2000).Last but not least of the sources of pressure to foodcompanies is represented by the media. Food safetyscares are always covered by the press and consumersfeel encouraged to go to the press, lured by both thepublicity and the cash rewards. Documentation of HACCP systems and eective maintenance of recordswill be essential to defend due diligence in the case of liability (Mortimore & Wallace, 1998).
 2.5. Prioritising `HACCP pillars' for improvement
Success in implementing and maintaining HACCPsystems will largely depend on how these four pillars areprioritised and organised in a company. Fig. 1 depictstwo pyramids that represent two opposite situations.Fig. 1(a) depicts a stable pyramid, illustrating a sus-tainable model for the process of HACCP implemen-tation. The ®rst pillar, at the base of the pyramid, ismanagement commitment, representing a managerialunderstanding and commitment towards the HACCPsystem and its ongoing success. The next pillar of thismodel is to provide education and training for manag-ers, supervisors and food handlers. Adequate sta training and education is fundamental to obtain expe-rience and practice of the HACCP concept and itmay also facilitate the diligent management of theavailable funds for the implementation of the HACCPsystem. This is the third pillar and consists of proper
Fig. 1. Schematic of models to prioritise the HACCP pillars. (a) Sus-tainable model: adequate prioritisation of pillars that sustain HACCPshowing a stable pyramid. (b) Unsustainable model: inadequate pri-oritisation of HACCP pillars showing an unstable pyramid.
P.J. Panisello, P.C. Quantick / Food Control 12 (2001) 165±173
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