HACCP is considered a prerequisite to be recognized as a legit and safe business in the food industry. It is also a divisible method of action to ensure quality food products for the people. This article aims to decode everything that HACCP stands for and make it simpler to implement.
What is HACCP Certification?
HACCP Certification is an approval system that validates a food business’ development, documentation, and implementation systems under a government-mandated framework.
The initials stand for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point, an internationally recognized tool that helps identify and target food safety risks to ensure a good quality supply of food products.
HACCP audits can take anywhere between 1 day and 5 days, depending on the audit scope. And looking holistically, the full HACCP certification process might take anywhere between 1 to 12 months when you include each phase of audit criteria/standard selection, learning the rules, development, implementation, audit, review, and awarding the HACCP certificate.
The Benefits of HACCP Certification
The most significant and most impactful benefit from HACCP implementation is the honest effort in reducing food-related risks. Apart from that, HACCP certification is and helps:
- A testimonial to taking customer/consumer health seriously.
- A metric in accessing growth of the consumer base.
- Contribution to a sustainable business model by dynamic resource allocation.
- Cut costs of performance and troubleshooting.
- Increasing the efficiency of food plants.
- Lead to business expansion due to the customer preference for safe food places as per international standards.
What is the Need for HACCP certification?
Before becoming HACCP certified, it is essential to know why food businesses require it in the first place. It is a common call for most people to start.
The main reason the business should get certified is that it provides access to selling the products in the market. Therefore, only after getting to know the requirements of HACCP implementation does one know its various types to choose the best deal as a business owner.
Getting certified also makes doing business internationally more efficient and networked.
Getting certified has numerous benefits, such as maintaining records and track reports and implementing better health standards from the get-go.
However, do note that HACCP certificates are valid for a period set by the third-party certification authority.
The HACCP Certification Process
There are many steps involved in the HACCP certification process. It is a long course to take, including several time-consuming steps such as planning, management commitment, and training human resources.
So let’s see what route to take to achieve desired outcomes:
1. Knowledge of HACCP
The first requirement of getting HACCP certified means to know what HACCP is and understand its clauses to ensure proper implementation.
2. Develop a HACCP plan
There is a need to develop and implement a HACCP Plan for a new food enterprise starting afresh. The plan must be product or business-specific. In addition, the plan must ideally address all regulatory requirements for a specific country or the exporting country.
In this phase, the scope of the system should be identified and defined. The scope covers all the areas, products, processes, and locations of the HACCP plan or the food safety management system.
3. Complete a gap analysis
After drafting the HACCP plan, it is essential to complete the gap analysis against the chosen HACCP standard. This step helps to identify anything left out that the HACCP standard requires the business to fulfill.
If the analysis is not feasible, businesses can hire an external food safety consultant to help with the process. Alternatively, the HACCP team leader would be able to facilitate the task of consultancy more efficiently.
4. Choose a third-party certifying body
HACCP certification is granted by an external third-party certifying authority. These agencies have auditors with the necessary knowledge and skills to assess the HACCP system or HACCP plan.
Therefore, the food business should always ensure that the external or third-party certification body has the necessary qualifications and accreditation to provide this service.
To ensure that the certifying authority is legitimate, one must check the website of the chosen HACCP standard for reference.
5. Undergo the HACCP audit
The food business mustAn external third-party certifying authority grants HACCP certification undergo an audit or assessment of its food safety and HACCP policies and procedures before the certification. The audit occurs in two stages: a document review (remotely) and an onsite review.
If the auditor identifies significant issues in the plant or process, a follow-up naturally becomes the next step. All the audit reports should be undertaken by a competent and qualified food safety auditor with verified credentials.
The Follow-up to the Certification
After the procedure of auditing and certification, the follow-up procedures of self-improvement follow their course. The registered certificate granted to the business, falling under the GFSI procedures, usually lasts 12 months. After a given period, it requires a rigorous reevaluation of all the third-party auditors and controlling authority guidelines.
Therefore, it is important to monitor progress and maintain relevant data to handle the procedures efficiently.
Pulse can help maintain the audit reports without the hefty cost reduction in hiring a person to hold the accounts. In addition, the certification process becomes easier to handle with Pulse and enables owners to gain higher profits through their food business. Register today, and try Pulse for free.