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Compulsory HACCP plans coming!

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foodsafetyNZ

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 09:16 AM

New Zealand is currently in the process of inacting legislation which will require compulsory food safety plans by most food industry. I am interested to get some feedback from other areas of the world which have also had this requirement imposed.

Templates are being developed by the government food body (NZFSA), and these will need to be introduced to industry (generally smaller businesses at first) like takeaways, restaurants etc. Local food inspectors will also be trained to become verifiers of these plans.

Does anyone have any experience with such a change and how did it go?? I am most interested to get some feedback from you.

Thank you



Charles.C

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 03:17 PM

Dear foodsafetyNZ,

Welcome to the forum! :welcome:

Indeed this idea was intoduced into UK as the "Safer Food Better Business" program a few years back as a result of a specific EU requirement for food businesses. Another country also recently posted here on same topic I think. Maybe try a little forum searching on SFBB. A main IT link is here -

http://www.food.gov....resources/sfbb/

As far as results are concerned, various people here have had more direct experience with this and I will let them respond, probably shortly.

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Cathy

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 01:20 AM

HACCP became mandatory for meat and poultry plants in the late 90's in the U.S. It was implemented in phases - with larger plants (with more resources) having to be ready first and smaller businesses being give more time.

At first - in the rush to meet the new rules, the Plans were sometimes misguided or misunderstood or thrown together without a lot of thought. ( no insults intended - people just wanted to comply with the law and the concept was new) Things fluctuated between times when government folks seemed to understand it and industry did not - to where industry was ahead and government folks fell behind. I would say it took about 5 years for the whole thing to settle down....for everyone to be understanding the requirements in the same way. It took a lot of training for regulators and industry folks to get onto the same page.

Developing a standard training can be very helpful... you may want to check the International HACCP Alliance or of course, my company web site since we offer training certified through them... ( http://haccpcg.com/ )

Over all - it is a great system and has benefitted everyone. It can be overly regulatory at times - where an inspector will write a noncompliance report because a plant failed to precisely follow a plan even if that altercation did not impact food safety. On the other hand - as it has matured here - it has become more science based and most often truly does improve and control safety.

Hope that helps?


Cathy Crawford, HACCP Consulting Group
http://haccpcg.com/

Charles.C

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 04:01 AM

Dear Cathy,

Seafood plants also I think (in fact this sector was a prime mover in US HACCP from my experience, particularly to offer a level playing field as compared to import requirements I guess).

But is the implementation in the US only at plant level ? The big thrust in UK was to require for small businesses which has major implications due to the changing baseline knowledge level often involved. This is readily seen in the government inspired documentation subsequently made available.

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Cathy

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 12:27 PM

As far as I know, only manufacturers are required to implement HACCP - meat, poultry, fish, some eggs and juices as well. Restaurants are moving toward voluntary HACCP which is often customer or audit driven. Certain restaurant practices require HACCP (i.e.smoking or curing in-house) but this might vary (I am not clear on all the details). Schools implemented HACCP plans last year but I am not sure how this was enforced. Many retail establishments (grocers) also use HACCP.

Food safety is regulated on the national level only where it crosses state lines (in commerce). On the local level - which is where most restaurants operate - it is up to the state to recommend rules and local health departments enforce them. Because of this, there is a lot of variety in the local rules. I don't know of any state that has recommended mandatory HACCP for food service.


Cathy Crawford, HACCP Consulting Group
http://haccpcg.com/

Cathy

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 12:29 PM

Hey Charles - what did you mean by small businesses? Small restaurants or small manufacturers ...?


Cathy Crawford, HACCP Consulting Group
http://haccpcg.com/

Charles.C

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 01:23 PM

Dear Cathy,

There are a number of SFBB packs available which are designed to meet the specific needs of different food businesses. There are packs for small catering businesses, small retail businesses and restaurants and takeaways that serve different cuisines, such as Chinese or Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan cuisines. There is also a supplement for care homes that is designed to be used with the pack for caterers.


From my previous link. The idea is to go right down the chain. If you try dwling some of the guidance documents you will immediately see where HACCP "modifications" hv been necessary.

Rgds / Charles.C

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C




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