How to make HACCP really work in practice
Sara Mortimore *
Pillsbury Europe, Harman House, 1 George Street, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 1QQ, UK Received 11 September 2000; received in revised form 9 January 2001; accepted 9 January 2001
A HACCP system that really works in practice will depend on the competency of the people who both developed it and who operate it, and the prerequisite programmes, which support it. If it is to be truly successful then there must be an overriding internal belief in the HACCP approach and what it can do for the business once properly implemented. There are fundamental issues concerning the Training and Education which need to be considered, such as the variable quality of education and training available on a global basis, impinge on the ability of HACCP teams to conduct a Hazard Analysis. Compounded with this is the general weak understanding of the HACCP and prerequisite programme relationship and of the implementation and maintenance phases . . . on how to make it really happen. These elements are considered against four key stages to the application of HACCP principles. Ó 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Training; Prerequisites; Implementation
The HACCP technique itself is a straightforward and
logical system of control based on the prevention of
problems ± a common sense approach to food safety
management. In reality, the use of the HACCP approach may well oer a practical and major contribution to the way forward in food safety management, but only if the people charged with its implementation have
the proper knowledge and expertise to apply it eectively.
This paper is aimed at examining what we have
learned over the last 40 years with regard to making it
work in practice ± particularly in more recent times as
the use of HACCP has increased. It will also take a
broad look at the practicalities of making HACCP work
to best eect.
With these thoughts in mind let us now look at what
is required to make HACCP work within a food business. In broad terms there are four stages to the application of HACCP (Mortimore & Wallace, 1998): Stage 1 is eective preparation and planning.
Stage 2 is the application of the 7 HACCP principles.
Tel.: +44-1895-201193; fax: +44-1895-202509.
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Stage 3 is the implementation of the HACCP study
Stage 4 is the ongoing maintenance of the HACCP
Each of these four stages will brie¯y be considered in the
context of making HACCP really work in practice.
2. Stage 1 ± preparation and planning
The key to it all is the ®rst stage (Fig. 1) ± proper
preparation and planning prior to the application of the
HACCP principles (Codex, 1997) through the HACCP
study. Preparation can be more than putting the person(s) charged with implementing HACCP on to a 2day training course which is what will typically occur in many organisations both large and small.
A few words on training: a trained HACCP team is
essential, yet we should question the quality and eectiveness of the training which is generally available. Training is often provided by people who are not
HACCP practitioners ± who are, instead, lecturers; academics; regulators or former hygiene trainers who have jumped onto the HACCP ``bandwagon'' (Mortimore &
Smith, 1998). There are trainers who have both real
practical knowledge and who have been properly trained
in delivery of training (not lecturing or presentation
techniques) ± but they are probably in a minority.
0956-7135/01/$ - see front matter Ó 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. PII: S 0 9 5 6 - 7 1 3 5 ( 0 1 ) 0 0 0 1 7 - 2
S. Mortimore / Food Control 12 (2001) 209±215
One of the ®rst preparation activities is to gain an
overall understanding of what is involved in using
HACCP. In order to do this...