Food safety world-wide is moving towards prevention rather than reaction. But before we can prevent food safety issues, we first must understand what could possibly go wrong. It is this level of knowledge that is lacking in many food businesses today. Working out or having knowledge of all the things that can wrong in your food business is known as hazard identification.
3 easy ways to identify hazards in your food business
I have previously written about how to identify hazards in your food business so I won’t go into great depth in this article. However, I consider the following three (3) methods an easy place to start.
1. Brainstorm with your team
Tap into the knowledge and experience of your own HACCP team and food production staff. Hazards can be identified based on things that have gone wrong in the past in your business.
2. Review food recall media release
If there has been a food recall take note of the type of product and the issue reported. You can then use this information to review if the same hazard could happen in your food business. Just remember that just because your food business hasn’t had a food recall to a particular issue, doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future.
3. Look at your customer complaints
Customer complaints are a valuable tool when identifying hazards in your food business. These easily identify things that have gone wrong in your business as identified by your customers. Every customer compliant should be reviewed to identify the hazard, type of hazard and source of the hazard.
Mapping to Key Standards
Hazard identification has been a fundamental requirement for quite some time now, but for those operating out of the USA, it has become a recent requirement in the FSMA. The requirement states that a food business to identify hazards that are known or reasonably foreseeable.
To find out more about your requirements to identify food safety hazards, check out the following key references:
- SQF (Edition 7.2) – Clause 2.4.3
- BRC (Issue 7) – Clause 2.7.1
- PrimusGFS (V2.1-2) – Clause 3.1
- Codex HACCP – Annex to CAC/RCP 1-1969 (Rev. 4 – 2003) – Principle 1
- GlobalGAP – (IFA Standard V5, Control Points and Compliance Criteria – All farm base) – Clause AF. 1.2.1
Practice in play
How do you identify the food safety hazards in your business? Share your methods with the HACCP Mentor community by leaving a comment below this post.
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Food Safety Compliance 101: How do I comply with that?
This post is part of the HACCP Mentor series on Food Safety HACCP Compliance 101: How do I comply with that? Each week a compliance requirement of a piece of legislation, GFSI accredited standard or minimum food safety expectation will be reviewed. Tips and tools are also provided on how you and your food business can comply with the requirement to help improve your overall food safety HACCP compliance. To check out other posts please click here.