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What does HACCP stand for?

Every autocontrol system in the food industry must be based on HACCP. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points, a preventative food safety system that takes stock of the hazards in food. The control process has been set up by the European Union and wants to make sure that the production of food entails as little hazards as possible for consumers. Companies must apply the HACCP system onto their own situation: they must identify the potential hazards themselves, establish measures to eliminate them and monitor the observance of these measures.

The HACCP system operates as follows:

First, the potential food hazards that could present a risk to the food safety are identified. This may include microbiological hazards such as fungi, viruses and bacteria, chemical hazards such as poisonous substances but also physical hazards such as metal and glass in food.

This is followed by an analysis. The consequences of the identified hazards are assessed by considering both their frequency and degree of seriousness. This way, the hazard for the consumers’ health can be assessed if it would actually occur in the finished product.

After the analysis all hazards for the consumer have been identified. It is then important to prevent these hazards, either by eliminating them or by reducing them to an acceptable level. Managing these hazards is only possible if one continues to control some critical control points during the preparation, transportation and packaging of food. Only by respecting the HACCP procedures, product safety can be warranted.


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