HACCP Based Food Safety Programs, Food Safety Management Systems: ISO 22000

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What is a HACCP based Food Safety Program?

For most food businesses in Australia, having a Food Safety Program based on the 7 principles of a hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) is a legal requirement. As stipulated below in the Food Standard Code, Section 3.2.1:

“This standard (3.2.1) enables States and Territories to require food businesses to implement a food safety program based upon the HACCP concepts. The food safety program is to be implemented and reviewed by the food business and is subject to periodic audit by a suitably qualified food safety auditor.”

A Food Business must:

  • systematically examine all of its food handling operations in order to identify the potential hazards that may reasonably be expected to occur;
  • if one or more hazards are identified in accordance with paragraph (a), develop and implement a food safety program to control the hazard or hazards;
  • set out the food safety program in a written document and retain that document at the food premises;
  • comply with the food safety program; and
  • conduct a review of the food safety program at least annually to ensure its adequacy

Food Safety Programs are essential for protecting consumers from foodborne illness, maintaining regulatory compliance, and protecting the reputation and financial viability of the food business. Many food safety regulations and standards require them.

It's important that food businesses have a Food Safety Plan as part of their Food Safety Program. This includes documented evidence that all food preparation steps and activities have been identified. When an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) audits your food business, they will review your Food Safety Program and its records.

A Food Safety Program must:

  • systematically identify the potential hazards that may be reasonably expected to occur in all food handling operations of the food business;
  • identify where, in a food handling operation, each hazard identified under paragraph (a) can be controlled and the means of control;
  • provide for the systematic monitoring of those controls;
  • provide for appropriate corrective action when that hazard, or each of those hazards, is found not to be under control;
  • provide for the regular review of the program by the food business to ensure its adequacy; and
  • provide for appropriate records to be made and kept by the food business demonstrating action taken in relation to, or in compliance with, the food safety program.

In addition to the implementation of the HACCP Plans, a food safety program will include elements such as employee training, sanitation practices, maintenance of equipment and facilities, pest control, and product testing.

What is a HACCP Plan?

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a food safety and risk assessment management system that aims to prevent or eliminate hazards affecting the food industry before they occur. NASA initially developed the HACCP protocol in the 1960s and 70s in consultation with food safety specialists.

HACCP is a systematic approach to identify and control these food safety hazards within food businesses. HACCP is considered a minimum requirement for food safety in most countries and is used widely throughout the food industry. The seven fundamental principles of a HACCP in food safety include undertaking hazard analysis, identifying critical control points and critical limits, critical control monitoring, planning corrective action, instilling procedures, and record keeping.

A HACCP plan is a written document for your food business that provides information on potential hazards and how to prevent occurrences of those hazards for the production of safe food products.

HACCP plans identify and control hazards before they can cause harm to the consumer. They are constructed by following a strict step-by-step procedure focussing on seven fundamental principles in food safety. Beginning with the principle of hazard analysis, which is the initial process of identifying potential hazards that could occur at any stage of the food supply chain.

The plan will determine where potential risks can occur in your food business and put in preventive measures to stop them from happening in the first place. It will also monitor areas identified, define the action to take if a hazard occurs, and advise you on how to prevent it from happening again.

The 12 Steps and 7 Principles in developing a HACCP Plan

  1. Assemble the HACCP team.
  2. Describe the product.
  3. Identify intended use.
  4. Construct a flow diagram.
  5. On-site confirmation of flow diagram.
  6. Conduct a Hazard Analysis (Principle 1)
  7. Determine Critical Control Points (CCP) (Principle 2) and Control Points (CP)
  8. Establish critical limits for each CCP (Principle 3)
  9. Develop & document monitoring of the CCP (Principle 4)
  10. Develop and document corrective action (Principle 5)
  11. Develop and document verification (Principle 6)
  12. Develop any records and procedures required (Principle 7).

JLB bases all consulting and training for the HACCP on Codex Alimentarius international food standards. These are guidelines and codes of practice developed by the World Health Organisation to protect consumer health, ensure fair trade practices, and promote harmonisation of food standards and regulations between countries. These standards are widely recognised as a reference point for food safety and quality by governments, international organisations, and the food industry.

What is a Food Safety Management System?

A Food Safety Management System (FSMS) is a systematic approach to managing food safety in a business. It involves implementing procedures, processes, and practices to ensure that food is safe for consumption and complies with legal and regulatory requirements.

An FSMS is a requirement for manufacturers working with food so that they can evidence they are compliant with food safety legislation and are producing products which are safe to consume, which can include any one of the following or a multitude of the following standards:

  • ISO 22000
  • BRC Global Standard
  • FSSC 22000

An FSMS typically includes a Food Safety program and HACCP and extends to training programs for staff, documentation and record keeping, internal auditing, and continuous improvement processes.

What is the ISO 22000 Standard?

ISO 22000 is an international standard that sets out the requirements for a food safety management system and is a comprehensive framework for managing food safety risks across the entire food supply chain, from primary production to final consumption.

It includes the principles of HACCP but also provides a broader framework for food safety management. ISO 22000 covers the entire food supply chain, from raw materials to the end consumer, and includes requirements for management responsibility, resource management, and continual improvement.

ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 are globally recognized standards addressing food safety management. ISO 22000 is a standalone international standard, while FSSC 22000 uses ISO 22000 as its basis and includes additional food manufacturing and processors-specific requirements.

Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on the organisation’s specific needs, industry scope, and market access requirements. Whichever standard an organisation chooses, implementing effective food safety management systems is a significant step towards ensuring safe and high-quality food products for consumers.

What is the difference between a Food Safety Program & a Food Safety Management System?

Your business’s current Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) programs are only a starting point toward fulfilling international requirements. However, it isn’t necessary to reinvent the wheel here - current HACCPs are still relevant and are valuable as a foundational tool in building a Hazard Control Plan. Existing HACCP and Critical Control Points (CCPs) can continue to be used, but additional structure around risk-based preventive control programs is required by further defining the Prerequisite Program (PRPs) and Operational Prerequisite Programs (OPRPs). This can be a similar analysis tool to what is already used for your business’s HACCP programs.

ISO 22000 & FSSC 2200 state that preventative measures - called Prerequisite Program (PRPs) - are now considered of equal importance as those intended to control potential outbreaks, otherwise known as Critical Control Points (CCPs) and both of these practices are considered preventive controls. PRPs can further break down to include Operational Prerequisite Programs (OPRPs), a category introduced through ISO 22000.

There are notable distinctions between CCPs and PRPs. OPRPs are a kind of PRP that, while still controlling a significant hazard, cannot be monitored and controlled the same way a CCP can. Today, most safety incidents result from poor PRP management instead of CCP failures.

An OPRP is a prerequisite program responsible for controlling a significant hazard. It’s a control measure that’s crucial but isn’t considered. The main reason is that a CCP is not an absolute control and can be managed upstream from the CCP. OPRPs are identified through risk assessments. Treat them just like a CCP (to identify, monitor, verification, corrective actions, record keeping, and the like), but defining a critical limit isn’t necessary. You’ll need to determine what can be measured and then determine how. OPRPs may not target a specific hazard source but reduce the likelihood of hazard exposure or other contamination sources.

What are the Benefits of a Food Safety Management System?

Implementing an FSMS can help businesses to comply with international food safety standards, facilitating access to international markets and improving trade opportunities.

Implementing a Quality Management System can benefit and assist your business to:

  • safely handle, process or sell foods
  • maintain safe food practices to protect public health
  • meet legal requirements, regulations and standards
  • empower employees with knowledge and skills
  • improve internal communication and management systems
  • identify potential hazards in all food handling operations in the business
  • monitor and report on all aspects of the program
  • prepare audit documentation
  • minimise costs associated with food use and wastage
  • support the reputation of your organisation

A Food Safety Management System (FSMS) is a comprehensive framework that covers all aspects of a food business's operations, from the farm to the table. It includes policies, procedures, processes, and resources that a company uses to manage food safety risks and ensure food products are safe for consumption. An FSMS is an integrated approach to food safety that incorporates risk management, continuous improvement, and compliance with food safety regulations.

Why Certify Your Food Safety Management System to the ISO 22000 Standard?

Developing and certifying your HACCP food safety program to the ISO 22000 Standard can benefit your business in numerous ways. It ensures that your business meets legal requirements, regulations, and standards. Additionally, certification can boost your business's reputation and retain customer confidence, providing a competitive advantage in the market.

Integrating your food safety management system with other systems can improve efficiency and productivity, reducing expenses associated with food wastage. Certification demonstrates your commitment to quality and can help you attract new customers. Most importantly, certifying to ISO 22000 helps reduce costly and time-consuming incidents, ensuring your food products are safe for consumption.

Developing and certifying your HACCP food safety program to the ISO 22000 Standard can benefit your business and assist it to:

  • meet legal requirements, regulations and standards
  • boost reputation
  • retain customer confidence
  • provide a competitive advantage
  • improve efficiency by integrating with other systems
  • improve productivity through increased efficiency
  • demonstrate commitment to quality
  • reduce expenses associated with food wastage
  • attract new customers
  • reduce costly and time-consuming incidents

How can JLB assist you

JLB supports clients throughout the entire process, from initial information search to certification and ongoing maintenance of their systems.

JLB's team of experts can assist your business with every aspect of developing and implementing HACCP. This includes reviewing your current food safety plan and identifying areas for improvement. They also help you create a comprehensive management manual that outlines the policies, procedures, and processes required to ensure food safety.

JLB will assist you in creating a risk assessment methodology and a Statement of Applicability to ISO 22000. They train all employees in your business, including your audit team, to ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities regarding food safety.

JLB can help you identify and monitor compliance obligations related to food safety regulations and standards. They can also guide you through the first management review meeting and prepare your business for third-party certification.

By choosing JLB as your partner in food safety, you can have peace of mind knowing that your business is in good hands to help you:

  • review your current Food Safety Plan
  • develop a Management Manual
  • create risk assessment methodology
  • develop a Statement of Applicability to ISO 22000
  • train all employees including your Audit team
  • ensure compliance obligations are identified and monitored
  • participate in the first management review meeting
  • prepare you for third-party certification

What to Expect When You Work with JLB on your Food Safety Management System

You will work directly with one of our consultants, an expert with relevant industry experience to your business, to identify the structure and requirements of an effective management system and what this means for your business.

You will gain a thorough insight into food safety management systems and the key concepts and structure of ISO 22000, including terms, definitions and the ISO standardised high-level structure. You'll learn to interpret and apply the key concepts and principles of the standard to existing processes within your organisation.

Our professional consultants have a wealth of experience across various industries and share the common goal of providing the best possible service to our clients. Our unique 'Hands On' approach has no hidden costs; JLB delivers support and guidance at every step, and our many satisfied clients prove this.

The Food Safety Management System Process

Become familiar with a food safety program's implementation framework and adjust it to suit your business. Learn ISO 22000's key concepts and requirements, conduct a baseline review, and implement and obtain third-party certification. JLB will monitor and maintain your management system to ensure continued compliance and dynamism in your industry.

1 Starting Out

Learn what ISO 22000 certification can do for your business

2 Implementing

Our experienced, committed and dedicated team tailors a program to suit your professional needs

3 Certification

Third-party assessment to gain certification for your Food Safety Management Program

4 Maintaining

JLB is available to maintain your system to ensure compliance and continual improvement

Food Safety Management System Documentation

Documentation plays a critical role in implementing a food safety management system. Like any other management system, JLB knows that effective documentation is essential to be certified in compliance with the ISO 22000 Standard. JLB works closely with clients to coordinate their documentation requirements, ensuring that all elements, including HACCP policy statements, management manuals, work instructions, forms, and emergency plans, meet the standard's requirements. JLB assists in producing and maintaining documentation, creating manuals for employee use and implementing policies and procedures that are easy to follow and understand.

Policy Statements
Management Manuals
Work Instructions (Procedures)
Standard Forms (Records)

Why Choose JLB for your HACCP Plan, Food Safety Program or Management System development?

  • Australian-based
  • Experienced consultants
  • Tailored systems
  • Straightforward implementation
  • Maintenance of your Food Safety Management Plan
  • Internal Auditing Training
  • Integration with other standards

JLB is an ideal choice for businesses that require a robust Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) solution. With its headquarters in Adelaide, JLB is an Australian-based company well-positioned to provide local expertise and support.

JLB offers tailored HACCP solutions for businesses with experienced consultants who provide local knowledge and support. JLB's straightforward implementation process and systematic approach ensure a stress-free experience. They can also provide ongoing maintenance and training, ensuring the HACCP system remains effective and relevant. Integration with other ISO standards allows clients to achieve certification across multiple systems, improving overall efficiency. JLB is ideal for businesses seeking an effective HACCP system that improves food safety and regulatory compliance.

JLB has assisted over 1,000 organisations, for over 30 years, with HACCP Food Safety Programs and Food Safety Management Systems, through to successful international ISO 22000 and FSSC 2200 certification.

If you're ready to find out more about food safety programs and how ISO 22000 and FSSC 2200 certification can help your business, contact the JLB Team at info@jlb.com.au.

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