Digital HACCP System Solutions
Most food safety regulatory schemes require food producers, distributors to establish safety control plans consistent with hazard analysis and critical control points following HACCP principles for the compliance of standard requirements. Yet, paper-based HACCP systems can be complicated in identifying potential hazards.
Advanced HACCP systems using digital technologies are a more efficient and effective way of collecting essential food safety data and provide more timely results in unsafe food.
In this article, we’ll discuss the challenges that benefit food facilities management. We’ll also discuss the potential benefits of digital HACCP applications. E-HACCP is the solution that can support more effective hygiene management.
What is HACCP and why it is so important?
Originally HACCP was developed in the late 1950s to help space programs. HACCP offers systematic approaches identify, evaluate and control of food safety hazards. It involves the detailed analysis of biological, chemical, and physical hazards to prevent hazards throughout the entire food processing cycle.
In practice, the HACCP system is applied from raw material procurement and handling, through manufacturing and distribution. HACCP Plan is based on seven HACCP principles:
- HACCP Principle 1: Conduct a hazard analysis
- HACCP Principle 2: Determine the critical control points
- HACCP Principle 3: Establish critical limits
- HACCP Principle 4: Establish monitoring procedures
- HACCP Principle 5: Establish corrective actions
- HACCP Principle 6: Establish verification procedures
- HACCP Principle 7: Establish record-keeping and documentation procedures
HACCP systems have been designed in all segments for the food industry from growing food products to preparing foods for consumption by the end-user. The 7 Principles of HACCP have been successfully applied in food processing plants for food safety preventative control plans.
Challenges of Paper-Based HACCP Plan
Nearly all HACCP systems involve the collection and retention of food safety using the checklist methodology. This low-tech method of data collection offers several advantages such as portability and ease of use but have limitation too. At the same time, processing and analyzing food safety on paper is generally an inefficient and time-consuming process and lengthy. This method lacks detailed analysis appropriate for assessing the effectiveness of hygiene measures in complex food processing operations.
HACCP systems that rely on paper forms require printing the necessary HACCP forms and checklists. HACCP records must be archived for up to five years since HACCP records are thoroughly reviewed during periodic audits for complying with the standard requirements. Maintaining large numbers of paper records requires storage space to collect them and is often rarely misplaced especially in retail food establishments.
Benefits of Digital HACCP System
Fortunately; HACCP systems that leverage digital technologies monitor the effectiveness of hygiene management programs in the organization. Today, cloud-based HACCP systems platforms and software apps are providing food facilities with greater flexibility in implementing HACCP Certification in the organization. This also makes it easier to implement and monitor effective hygiene practices that can reduce the risk of food contamination.
Digital HACCP solutions offer several important benefits. These benefits include:
- Convenience – Digital HACCP systems eliminate paper records and make them convenient for use.
- Portability and accessibility – HACCP apps for handheld devices allow up-to-date information available in all locations.
- Timeliness – Data collected through digital HACCP systems is easily available for evaluation.
- Advanced analytic capabilities – Cloud-based HACCP systems support detailed analysis of data and ease report generation tasks.
- Knowledge transfer – Digital HACCP systems provide immediate access to promptly address hygiene non-conformance.
- Traceability – Finally, digital HACCP systems ensure traceability of collected information easily traceable.
When successfully implemented, digital HACCP systems impact food safety, thereby supporting continuous improvement efforts are achieved.
Using information generated by the HACCP system helps to identify the root causes of continuing problems sooner and take proactive action immediately. The result is more efficient and effective that minimizes the risks of contamination and helps prevent the production of unsafe foods.