Food Safety - Guide to HACCP Plans

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The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan is a preventative system for ensuring the safe production of food products. It is based on an application of technical and scientific principles to special food processes. The HACCP System has control points that identify potential biological, chemical, and physical hazards in food from the time food enters a facility to the time it is served. The Hazard Analysis identifies critical control points based on ingredients, raw materials, and processes. Control measures are implemented and monitored to ensure the ongoing safety of the finished product.

Retail Food Establishments owners/operators that want to prepare special process foods will need to complete a Request for a Special Process (D1845) application (http://www.scdhec.gov/library/D-1845.pdf) and submit it to FoodVariances@dhec.sc.gov.

A Request for a Special Process application is needed if a Retail Food Establishment wishes to:

  1. Use smoking, curing, food additives (such as vinegar), or fermentation as a method of food preservation or to render food so that it is not a time/temperature control for safety (TCS) food.
  2. Process TCS food using reduced-oxygen packaging, sous vide, or cook-chill.
  3. Sprout seeds or beans.
  4. Custom process meat that is for personal use and not for sale or service in a retail food establishment.
  5. Process and package juice.
  6. Serve unpackaged juice to Highly Susceptible Populations.

The application will be received and reviewed by the Division of Food Protection & Lead Risk Assessment. The Department will provide resources and guidance documents to help the facility start building their HACCP plan. Special process foods will not be allowed in a Retail Food Facility until the HACCP plan has been approved by the Department.

Department staff will assist the RFE in developing these seven principles of HACCP:

  1. Identify potential food safety hazards.
  2. Identify critical control points.
  3. Establish control procedures.
  4. Establish monitoring procedures.
  5. Establish corrective actions.
  6. Establish effective record keeping procedures.
  7. Establish procedures for verification.

If you have any questions contact DHEC at 803-896-0640.

Definitions:

  • Control: (a) To manage the conditions of an operation to maintain compliance with established criteria. (b) The state where correct procedures are being followed and criteria are being met.
  • Control Measure: Any action or activity that can be used to prevent, eliminate, or reduce a significant hazard.
  • Control Point: Any step at which biological, chemical, or physical factors can be controlled.
  • Corrective Action: Procedures followed when control measures are not met.
  • Critical Control Point (CCP): A point, step, or procedure at which control can be applied and is essential to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or to reduce the hazard to an acceptable level.
  • HACCP Plan: A written document which is based on the principles of HACCP and specifies the procedures that will be followed to ensure the control of a specific process or procedure.
  • Hazard: A biological, chemical, or physical agent that is reasonably likely to cause a food to be unsafe for consumption.
  • Hazard Analysis: The process of collecting and evaluating information on hazards associated with the food under consideration to decide which hazards are significant and must be addressed in the HACCP plan.
  • Highly Susceptible Populations: Persons who are more likely that other people in the general population to experience foodborne disease because that are immunocompromised; preschool age children or older adults.
  • Monitor: To conduct a planned sequence of observations or measurements to assess whether a critical control point is under control and to produce an accurate record for future use in verification.
  • Prerequisite Programs: Procedures, including Good Manufacturing Practices, that address operational conditions (such as employee health, training, instrument calibration, etc.) providing the foundation for the HACCP system.
  • Preventative Measure: Physical, chemical, or other factors that can be used to control an identified health hazard.

Verification: Those activities such as methods, procedures, or tests in addition to monitoring, that determine if the process is in compliance with the HACCP plan and/or whether the HACCP plan needs modification and revalidation.

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Food Safety