Demystifying HACCP in the Food Service Industry
Posted on December 05 2016
If you are in the food service business, you’ve undoubtedly heard this acronym thrown around quite a bit. But, what is it and how does it affect you? Food safety awareness is continuing to be a focus throughout the supply chain in the food, beverage, and consumer-packaged good manufacturing industry. This focus requires a proactive approach to controlling potential hazards. The US FDA has developed guiding principles called Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) to address the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards. Implementing these principles is voluntary. Effective HACCP programs provide vigilant documentation and constant review of processes in order to ensure regulatory compliance and overall safety. With increasing amounts of government regulation, many food service businesses elect to adopt these principles into their operation.
According to the FDA, HACCP follows seven basic steps:
- Conduct hazard analysis
- Establish critical control points
- Establish critical control limits
- Establish monitoring procedures
- Establish corrective action
There are various risks and control points associated with garments and uniforms. It is important to keep this in mind when you are developing your uniform program.
- Garment material and design - given the use of the uniform, what design elements does it need to prevent cross contamination? Do you need a shirt with no pockets or a snap closure?
- Carts and plastic tubs – how are you storing your clean and dirty garments?
- Pest control within your business – do you have an ongoing pest control program?
Selecting a uniform that supports HACCP principles can help you follow safe food processing and handling procedures. Some control points to consider when selecting uniforms for your business:
- Do not wear damaged garments
- Pocket configuration
- Closure Type
- Sleeve/Cuff type and length
The FDA has a variety of free resources outlining the steps a food service business can take to align itself with HACCP principles. All these guidelines can seem monotonous, but it is important to remember that everybody shares a common goal of safety!