Dr Denis Boulais sheds light on two inferring Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) associated concepts and what they mean for the cleaning industry.
I first joined the cleaning industry in 2001. Back then the term Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) was rarely heard of within the industry.
I had first commenced my career as a food microbiologist in 1994 and when completing cleaning related risk assessments within food processing facilities I felt confident that my background with HACCP was very useful.
Of course over time the concept of HACCP has gained momentum within the cleaning industry where many organisations are opting to become certified to the HACCP codex and some cleaning organisations to the ISO 22000 for food safety management.
I have a strong interest in food safety and still subscribe to certain publications in that area where recently the new terms of VACCP and TACCP are coming to light.
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)
HACCP was first developed by NASA in the 1960s to prevent astronauts from contracting food poisoning in space. It then evolved and become a cornerstone in the food industry and eventually found its way into the cleaning industry. HACCP is a process that needs to be strictly followed in order for it to work effectively. The HACCP system can be best described in seven steps:
- Hazard analysis
- Critical control points (CCPs) identification
- Establishing critical limits at CCPs
- Monitoring critical limits
- Establishing corrective actions when CCPs control is lost
- Verifying that the HACCP system is working effectively
- Use of documentation and records relating to the process
Basically the HACCP system provides a method of identifying and assessing potential hazards in food processing/production and establishing preventative control procedures for those hazards.
In recent years, a number of high profile cases of deliberate food contamination have occurred that HACCP could not prevent. This has led to the development of TACCP and VACCP.
Threat Assessment Critical Control Point (TACCP)
TACCP is best summarised below.
- Prevention of malicious threats to food, such as extortion, sabotage or terrorism
- Prevention of intentional adulteration whether behaviourally or ideologically motivated
- The main generic threats are malicious contamination with toxic materials, misuse of food and drink materials, and sabotage of the supply chain for terrorist or criminal purposes. An attack should it be successful may disrupt business, have adverse effects on brands, and may lead to serious illness or death.
Vulnerability Assessment Critical Control Point (VACCP)
VACCP is best summarised below.
- Prevention of economically motivated food fraud
- Preventing the deception of consumers using food products, ingredients and packaging for economic gain which may include unapproved enhancements, misbranding, substitutions and use of stolen goods etc
- The UK horsemeat scandal is an example where customers were defrauded by adding horsemeat to batches of beef labelled as pure beef.
When cleaning around food areas it is important to have a HACCP program in place and liaise closely with the client to ensure they are happy with the program and it is a good fit with their program.
As the concepts of TACCP and VACCP grow alongside HACCP then I would expect food related clients to be more careful about those working (and cleaning) within their food supply and processing chains. I wouldn’t be surprised if clients call for greater supervision of cleaners and more detailed pre-employment screening.
This first appeared in the November/December issue of INCLEAN magazine. To read the article in full, click here.