Designing a HACCP Plan – Part 9
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Hello and welcome! This is Sheila Johnson and Dr. Ron Jones from the Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Today we’re discussing part nine in the ten part series on how meat and poultry plants
go about Designing a HACCP Plan. We’ve covered already a general overview of HACCP, the
preliminary steps to design a plan and the first six principles, which are: Conducting
a Hazard Analysis; Identifying Critical Control Points; Establishing Critical Limits;
Establishing Monitoring Procedures; Establishing Corrective Actions; and Establishing
Recordkeeping Procedures. Today we’ll discuss the seventh and final HACCP principle -
Establishing Verification Procedures.
So Ron, a plant uses verification procedures to establish methods to verify that the HACCP
system is working correctly. Can you tell us a little bit about them?
Yes, verification methods are used to determine whether the HACCP system is in compliance
with the HACCP Plan or whether the HACCP plan needs modification. There are three types
of verification. These are initial validation, ongoing verification, and reassessment
of the HACCP plan.
Could you tell us a little bit about each? Let’s start with initial validation.
Sure, initial validation of your HACCP plan is the process by which your establishment
proves that what is written in the HACCP plan will be effective in preventing, eliminating,
or reducing food safety hazards. You carry out this validation by gathering evidence that
supports your HACCP plan. Most likely you already have the majority of the validation
information you need. When you conducted your hazard analysis you were collecting data
that could also be used to validate your entire HACCP plan.
How is ongoing verification different?
After a HACCP Plan has been initially validated and put into action, verification activities
continue on an ongoing basis. Simply stated, you need to verify that your HACCP system
is working the way you expected. You can do this several ways. A few examples are: calibrating
your equipment, sampling your product, reviewing your monitoring and corrective action
logs, or personally inspecting your plant’s operation.
So reassessment is the last step. How often do you have to reassess your HACCP plan?
The regulations say that every establishment should reassess the adequacy of the HACCP
plan at least once a year and whenever any changes occur that could affect the hazard
analysis. For example you may need to modify your HACCP plan earlier than one year if
you decided to use new ingredients; the process changed, different processing equipment
was introduced; or there were changes in personnel. Reassessment should include a review
of the existing HACCP plan, including the product evaluation, hazard analysis, critical
control points, critical limits, monitoring procedures, corrective actions and recordkeeping
Thanks for the information on establishing verification procedures. Also, thanks to all
of you out there listening. Stay tuned for the final episode in our series “Designing
a HACCP Plan” where we will talk about overcoming common pitfalls in your HACCP plan.
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.