Welcome to USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service podcast. Each episode
will bring you cutting edge news and information about how FSIS is working to ensure public
health protection through food safety. While we're on the job, you can rest assured that
your meat, poultry, and processed egg products are safe, wholesome, properly labeled,
and packaged correctly. So turn up your volume and listen in.
Hello and welcome! This is Sheila Johnson and Dr. Ron Jones from the Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Today we'll discuss part seven in a ten-part series on how meat and poultry plants go about
designing a HACCP plan. Previously, we provided a general overview of HACCP, discussed the
preliminary steps and the first four principles, which are: Conducting a Hazard Analysis,
Identifying Critical Control Points, Establishing Critical Limits and Establishing Monitoring Procedures.
Today we'll talk about the fifth principle: Establishing Corrective Actions.
Ron, when do you need to establish a corrective action?
Sheila, you establish a plan for corrective action when you are developing
your HACCP plan. You will take corrective actions when monitoring indicates that there is a
deviation from an established critical limit. The corrective actions will make sure unsafe
product receives a proper disposition so that it does not get shipped from the establishment into
commerce, and they will make sure that the problem that caused the deviation is addressed so
that it does not occur again.
What are some of the corrective action steps required by the regulation?
Corrective actions include:
- Identifying and eliminating the cause of the deviation;
- Demonstrating that the critical control point is once again under control. (This means examining the process or product again at the critical control point and getting results that are within the critical limits);
- And taking steps to prevent a reoccurrence of the deviation.
Corrective actions also include:
- Making sure that no adulterated product enters commerce; and
- Maintaining detailed records of the corrective actions.
- Properly disposing of any product included in the deviation from the critical limit.
So, what are some examples of corrective actions?
Well, changing the process so that the problem that caused the deviation from a critical limit
does not happen again, and disposing of product is one example.
What do you do if a deviation occurs that is not covered by specific corrective action in your
HACCP plan, or if some unforeseen hazard arises?
I'm glad you asked that. Plants should always be prepared for unexpected outcomes. Plants
should segregate and hold any affected product until its acceptability for distribution can be
determined. Plants must ensure product that will affect public health or is otherwise adulterated
does not enter commerce. After the incident is over, plants should reassess and if necessary,
modify your HACCP plan to properly address this type of deviation in the future. And as
always, you should maintain detailed records of your actions.
What needs to be included in this documentation?
Whatever type of corrective actions the HACCP team establishes, records for each one need to be kept
including: the deviation that was identified; the reason for holding the product; the time
and date of the hold; the amount of the product involved; and the disposition and release of product.
Also, the HACCP team should document the actions that were taken to prevent the deviation from
recurring and should be dated and signed by the employee who was responsible for taking the corrective
Thanks for the information on establishing corrective actions. Also, thanks to all of you out
there listening. Stay tuned for the next episode in our series "Designing a HACCP Plan"
where we will talk about the sixth HACCP principle "Establishing Recordkeeping Procedures."
Well, that's all for this episode. We'd like your feedback on our podcast. Or if you
have ideas for future podcasts, send us an e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more
about food safety, try our web site at www.fsis.usda.gov.
Thanks for tuning in.