HACCP in Food Industry

In the food industry the HACCP (Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points) system is widely used. The definition of HACCP according to Mayes 1992 is:  A systematic approach to the identification and assessment of the microbial hazards and risks associated with the manufacturing, distribution and use of a particular foodstuff, and the definition of means for their control.



Food must satisfy the needs and expectations of the consumer, especially with respect to safety, and there are two principal approaches to assuring the quality of food from a safety and sensory point of view. These comprise quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) programmes, with the latter including Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems. Both these approaches have the selection and implementation of appropriate measures. This always includes protecting public health by controlling or eliminating microbiological safety/related risks as effectively as possible. An effective QA scheme will, however, provide greater confidence in food safety than is available from other approaches including QC. For the industry, the introduction of an effective QA programme will reduce operating expenses, thus giving better use of resources and a quicker response to, or prevention of, problems. It will also facilitate inspection by food control authorities of those aspects of production that are critical to food safety. One of the advantages of using HACCP systems as the basis for QA schemes is that it ensures that controls are based on clear principles and concentrate on identified hazards.


HACCP at the farm

The housing systems for meat and egg production farming are mostly comparable. Hygiene problems and risks of the different housing systems are also roughly comparable, although there are some differences. Risk analysis followed by risk management can be of great help in case of hygiene problems at the farm. This system seems not to apply fully for the animal husbandry.

The Codex Alimantarius specifies the role of animal husbandry for meat production: “…primary production should be managed in a way that reduces the likelihood of introduction of hazards and appropriately contributes to meat being safe and sustainable for human consumption…” which of course also applies for egg production.

When we consider animal farming as food production process, the HACCP targets come into focus more and more and they mainly concern food safety, veterinary safety and animal welfare. They consist primarily of microbiological criteria (e.g. zoonoses, but also veterinary aspects) but also chemical criteria play a significant role (e.g. residues of pesticides etc.). Process circumstances can be recognized in animal husbandry: Primary production can be considered a process for food production such as meat, eggs and dairy. Raw materials in this process are live animals, feed, water etc.