FOOD SAFETY PREVENTION, HACCP, AND FOODSECURITY/DEFENSE
Food safety and control systems have developed in concert with better understanding
of foodborne hazards .Prior to the mid-nineteenth century, for example, a lack of epidemiological knowledge about microbiological pathogens left public health officials wondering what was the cause of diseases, including those brought on by the ingestion of particular foods.
However, during the second half of the nineteenth century—and, indeed, up to the mid-twentieth century—particular foodborne illness cases were tied to particular agents (e.g. between 1850 and 1880, trichinosis and other diseases’ link to parasites was confirmed; between 1880 and 1950, specific bacterial diseases were tied to specific meat-borne pathogens).
Between 1950 and 1985, food safety researchers continued to identify new microbiological (and chemical) hazards in food, and they became intrigued with the idea of intervening in food processing to reduce the likelihood(i.e. risk) of such hazards occurring .
By the mid-1980s, more deliberate process-oriented (as opposed to merely
inspection-oriented) systems came into being .
One program—HACCP—had been developed previously to ensure food safety in the US Space Program; during the 1980s and 1990s, food companies and federal regulators began to insist on the seven principles of HACCP as a way to systematically control hazards (whether biological, chemical, or physical) in the food supply.
For effective FOOD SAFETY PREVENTION, HACCP, AND FOOD SECURITY/DEFENSE, the principles to follow accordingly include the following:
1. Conduct a hazard analysis (identification of biological, chemical, and physical
hazards that may cause food to be unsafe).
2. Identify critical control points, that is, steps or procedures in which a hazard can
be prevented, eliminated, or reduced.
3. Establish critical limits for each critical control point (e.g. specific temperature or
processing parameters that ensure reduction of risk to an acceptable level).
4. Establish critical control point monitoring requirements.
5. Establish corrective actions in the event monitoring to indicate a violation of a
6. Establish record keeping systems.
7. Establish validation procedures to demonstrate the HACCP system is in fact working.
HACCP is notably different from inspection-oriented food safety systems. HACCP’s
introduction into the food industry has helped foster a prevention-oriented mindset
amongst food professionals. Prevention-oriented food safety systems like HACCP are
an invaluable asset in larger food security/defense efforts.
Food safety systems can, in a sense, provide a kind of proverbial “down payment” on ensuring that a food plant is culturally open to systematically considering, reducing, monitoring, and documenting risks of all kinds.
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