GETTING ON BOARD WITH HACCP
The awareness of food-borne illness is increasing and concern throughout the industry is driving the use of HACCP and HACCP-based certification programs today. HACCP, which is short for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, is an internationally recognized system for reducing the risk of safety hazards in food by identifying potential hazards and controlling them at specific points in the process. This includes biological, chemical or physical hazards. Therefore, any company involved in the manufacturing, processing or handling of food products can use HACCP to minimize or eliminate food safety hazards in their product.
Apart from consumables, equipment, fit-out materials and services can also have a direct impact on the food safety profile of a business. Today, many of the world’s leading standards and quality systems now demand a due diligence process when selecting products that have incidental food contact or a significant impact on food safety. One such programme that that is designed to meet this demand is HACCP International.
HACCP International’s mark of certification is a confirmation from an independent 3rd party product certifier as to a nonfood product’s ability to support the integrity and safety of food as demanded by industry expectations, legislation and GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) endorsed standards. The highly recognised food safety certification mark confirms that a product or service has been evaluated against a number of assessment criteria, including international and proprietorial standards, world’s best practices and good, old-fashioned common sense.
HACCP PRODUCT VALIDATION FOR FOOD HANDLING OR PROCESSING APPLICATIONS
Through a defined and consistent assessment process, HACCP International provides validation of a product’s ‘fitness for purpose’ within food handling or processing applications and there are 10 key components reviewed in this process, namely:
• Materials & specifications
• Consequences of error
• Batch and process controls
• Contamination risks
• Ease of cleaning
• Packaging and labelling
• Operating instructions
• Contribution to food safety
In addition to these, equipment service providers are also assessed in terms of:
• HACCP and food safety awareness
• Food safety training
• Documentation and reporting
• On-site service delivery
• Standard operating procedures
Implementing a HACCP plan for use in your restaurant’s dayto- day operations and having HACCP ceritified equipment, materials and services can make a big difference in promoting food safety within your establishment. By implementing HACCP, not only can you keep your employees accountable and prepared to handle food safely but more importantly, protect your customers from harmful biological, chemical, and physical contaminants.
ROUTINE EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE
Cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation are the most important aspects in any F&B business. Regardless of how tasty and creative your food and drinks may be, or how excellent your service is, customers will avoid your establishment if the food or premises is deemed unhygienic. Therefore, apart from food handling safety, it is imperative that all equipment involved in food and beverage handling and preparation must be routinely cleaned and inspected. Older equipment may have nooks and crannies where dirt and bacteria can hide, which can be difficult to clean effectively. Proper cleaning procedures must be established and followed at all times with regular review to ensure that procedures are working. If equipment is replaced or cleaning materials change, the process may have to be adjusted. If you notice any safety concerns with the equipment while cleaning it, such as a frayed cord, missing guard or loose parts, contact the equipment manufacturer or supplier immediately. Your restaurant equipment plays a huge role in the operations of your business, so handle them well and they will carry your business a long way.