Food-borne illness is a preventable and under-reported public health problem. Each year, millions of illnesses can be attributed to contaminated food.
HACCP or Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points is a scientific and systematic approach to identify, assess and control of hazards in the food production process. With the HACCP system, food safety control is integrated into the design of the process rather than relied on end-product testing. Therefore HACCP system provides a preventive and thus cost-effective approach in food safety.
Some basic HACCP practices are :
- 3 Sink System
- Maintaining proper fridge temperatures. e.g., Walk in fridges to maintain a temperature between 2 degree Celsius to 5 degree Celsius, deep freezer to maintain a temperature between -18 degree Celsius to -22 degree Celsius.
- In the fridge, always store cooked food items on top followed by vegetables, fish, poultry, red meat and then forced/minced meat.
- Cook poultry at least up to 63 degree Celsius.
- Hot food should be served hot i.e., at at least 60 degree Celsius and cold food should be served cold i.e., at at least 4 degree Celsius.
- Maintain proper sanitizing sinks.
- Using proper chopping boards for e.g., Brown – vegetables, Yellow – cooked meat, red – raw meat, blue – raw fish, green – salads and fruits and white – dairy and bakery.
Initially, HACCP consisted of three principles:
- identification and assessment of hazards associated with food from farm to fork;
- determination of the critical control points to control any identified hazard; and
- establishment limits of the critical control points.
But now presently HACCP has seven principles including the initial three :
- Establish monitoring procedures for critical control points
- Establish corrective actions
- Establish verification procedures
- Establish a record system.
In order to enhance food safety, every stage of the food production (from purchasing, receiving, transportation, storage, preparation, handling, cooking to serving) should be carried out and monitored scrupulously.
To know more about the seven HACCP principles :http://www.cfs.gov.hk/english/programme/programme_haccp/programme_haccp_7requirement.html