Food safety is a priority for food manufacturers, who have various tools and protocols at their disposal to comply with all of the rules designed to ensure a safe food supply.

This blog from ImEPIK will answer questions about some of those rules, including the benefits of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs.

Is HACCP Mandatory for Food Processors?

Yes and no. It depends on what particular food is being processed. The Food and Drug Administration requires HACCP programs for seafood and juice, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) requires HACCP for meat and poultry.

That’s not to say HACCP programs aren’t beneficial for food manufacturers when supported by good manufacturing practices (GMPs) that tailor a food safety plan to the unique needs of different companies and the facilities they manage.

Food safety guidelines and plans are mandatory for food processors, and they must document what steps are being taken to provide safe products to consumers. Good food safety practices lead to fewer recalls and foodborne illness outbreaks, and loss of consumer trust in the food supply.

According to the FDA, there are seven HACCP principles to identify, evaluate and control food safety hazards:

  • Conduct a hazard analysis.
  • Determine the critical control points (CCPs).
  • Establish critical limits.
  • Establish monitoring procedures.
  • Establish corrective actions.
  • Establish verification procedures.
  • Establish record-keeping and documentation procedures.

Mandates from FSMA

Food manufacturers can address potential food safety problems proactively, according to the FDA. The FDA approved the FSMA Final Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food in mid-2020.

The rule mandates that food manufacturers:

  • Identify food safety and adulteration hazards associated with their foods and processes
  • Implement controls to minimize the hazards, 
  • Verify that the controls are working, and 
  • Design and implement corrective actions to address any deviations from the controls that might arise in a food safety plan.

ImEPIK: Your partner in food safety training

ImEPIK’s mission is to help companies in the food supply chain meet food safety rules mandated by FSMA. ImEPIK’s training courses satisfy FSMA’s rule that certain companies must have a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual to oversee food safety processes.

Major duties of PCQIs include:

  • Creation of the Food Safety plan
  • Verification of the preventive controls
  • Reviewing the records
  • Periodic evaluation and adjustment of the Food Safety Plan

The ImEPIK training is an interactive, fully remote learning program. Employees and managers can learn at their own pace online. There are no webinars, and the course includes scenarios to illustrate work environments specific to different food sectors covered by FSMA.

Contact ImEPIK today to get your training started.