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What is HACCP?

NQA

HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) is the systematic preventative approach to food safety.

It addresses physical, chemical, and biological hazards as a means of prevention rather than finished product inspection.

This approach has significant benefits to organisations operating within the food supply chain as it enables them to determine key controls over processes and concentrate resources on activities that are critical to ensuring safe food.

Retailers, the food industry and Government in particular are concerned about ensuring that food is produced safely and that the consumer has confidence in the product. This has led to an increase in legislation over time that has focussed upon ensuring safe systems of food production. In the UK the 1995 Food Safety Amendment Regulations, for the first time required manufacturers and providers to adopt HACCP to ensure food safety.

Who is HACCP applicable to?

HACCP can be used by any organization directly or indirectly involved in the food chain and pharmaceutical industry including:

  • Farms, fisheries and dairies
  • Processors of meats, fish and feed
  • Manufacturers of bread and cereals, beverages, canned and frozen food
  • Food service providers such as restaurants, fast food chains, hospitals and hotels and mobile caterers
  • Manufacturers of prescription and non-prescription drugs and remedies

What are the immediate benefits of approval?

  • Improved food safety
  • Increased business awareness of food risks
  • Greater product and raw ingredient traceability
  • Increased buyer and consumer confidence
  • Consistency in inspection criteria
  • Promotion of internal review of processes
  • Supports business leadership through the direction of resources to safety critical elements of the process
  • Compliance with food law
  • Reduction in complaints
  • Reduced risk of negative publicity
  • Improved responsiveness to problems through devised corrective action

How to achieve certification to HACCP?

NQA provides certification to HACCP as a stand alone system or as an extension to ISO 9001:2008 certification. The process of registration follows three simple steps:

  • Application for registration is made by completing the QMS questionnaire
  • Assessment to HACCP / ISO 9001 is undertaken by NQA - the organisation must be able to demonstrate that its quality management system has been fully operative for a minimum of three months and has been subject of a full cycle of internal audits
  • Registration is granted by NQA and maintained by the organisation. Maintenance is confirmed through a programme of annual surveillance visits and a three yearly re-certification audit.

Initial Certification Audit

The assessment process for achieving certification consists of a two stage Initial Certification Audit as follows:

Stage 1 - the purpose of this visit is to confirm the readiness of the organisation for full assessment. The assessor will:

  • confirm that the quality manual conforms to the requirements of HACCP / ISO 9001
  • confirm its implementation status
  • confirm the scope of certification
  • check legislative compliance
  • produce a report that identifies any non-compliance or potential for non-compliance and agree a corrective action plan if required.
  • produce an assessment plan and confirm a date for the Stage 2 assessment visit.

Stage 2 - the purpose of this visit is to confirm that the quality management system fully conforms to the requirements of HACCP / ISO 9001. The assessor will:

  • undertake sample audits of the processes and activities defined in the scope of assessment
  • document how the system complies with the standard
  • report any non-compliances or potential for non-compliance
  • produce a visit plan for the first surveillance visit

Please note that if any major non-conformance is identified, the organisation cannot be certified until corrective action is taken and verified.

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