What is HACCP

HACCP is the acronym for “Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points”. It is a program created by the Pillsbury Company in 1959 to comply with the NASA requirements for food supply to space journey crew members.

NASA had the following concerns: with food producing crumbs, in a spaceship at zero gravity, accidents may take place and an astronaut may be food poisoned and cause serious complications.

The first problem was easily solved only with some adaptations to product size and package. But as for the contamination problem, Dr. Howard Bauman, from Pillsbury, verified that the traditional sampling method used by quality was insufficient, which could be statistically evidenced. Therefore, Pillsbury tried to adapt several failure control systems to its process, until the day they succeeded.

Dr. Bauman and his team at Pillsbury were able to adapt the concept of “failure methods” used until then by the national laboratories of the US Army. The method was based on identifying food production/processing points wherein failures could occur and contaminate food.

That is, the identification of “potential hazards” in specific process points, allowing control over these possibly failing points (that became known as “Critical Control Points”). Thus, if any point suggests some deviation, or that it is out of control, it means that product safety may be compromised.

That is how the HACCP was introduced with the purpose of identifying all factors associated with raw materials, ingredients, input and process aiming at guaranteeing that the product is innocuous until its final destination to consumers.

The HACCP seven steps are:

Identification of contamination hazards and assessment of its severity

Determination of the PCCs (critical control points)

Introduction of measures and criteria to guarantee process/processing control.

Monitoring of critical control points.

Establishment of a data file system and record.

Corrective action whenever monitoring results suggest that criteria are not being observed.

Verification of whether the system is working as planned.