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How to create a HACCP plan

Feeling overwhelmed with the thought of creating a HACCP plan? It can seem a daunting task when you first start out. But here are some tips to make it a little less challenging. Using the templates that the CFIA has created work extremely well to assist you with starting a plan. 

I find a good place to start is by creating a process flow diagram (Form 3). Outlining the process from the start (receiving) through to packaging provides you with an excellent overview to initiate your HACCP program from. A good next step is to create a master product list and from that identify all of the ingredients and food contact packaging (Form 2) that are used in the facility.

Once you know all of the ingredients, packaging and the process you can start to identify the hazards that go along with each of them. Using the CFIA hazard database provides a pretty thorough look at the hazards that are associated with the ingredients and the processing steps. By outlining all of the ingredients, processing steps on a combined from 5, 6,7, 8 it will ensure that you put all of the biological, chemical and physical hazards that are found for each ingredient / step. 

Once you have identified all of the hazards you fill out the rest of the template (the decision tree portion) to determine which hazards are controlled using your pre-requisite programs and which need to be determined as a critical control point of a process control point. Any CCPs or PCPs then need to be placed onto a form 10 and determine the monitoring, deviation and verification procedures. All products that are received that can't be controlled by you should be shown on Form 9 (ie. municipal water).

I would then ensure that the Form 2 and form 3 have all of the hazards that you've identified within the combined form. Show on form 3 the CCPs and the PCPs that have been identified. Then, completing Form 4 outlining the employee and product's traffic flow will show whether there are any areas where cross-contamination may be a hazard. These can then be put through the decision tree to determine if additional controls need to be put in place for these zones. 

The only form still to complete is form 1 which is just a summary of the products that you have, their shelf life and their important characteristics. Some of these important characteristics may have been identified through your decision tree and are now CCPs. ie. Water activity, pH.

I hope that this has helped to de-mystify the whole HACCP program. But if you would still like some assistance with putting together your HACCP programs please feel free to reach out to FS & RD consulting for your free quote. Email me at melissa.stevenson@fsrdconsulting.com or give me a call at 905-334-1733.

Melissa Stevenson