HACCP & HARPC
It has long been recognised that the management of food safety could be improved by including a risk analysis approach. This uses a science-based analysis of food safety factors and tying the system to public health outcomes.
Risk analysis is established in the Codex Alimentarius and has passed into the EU General Food Law Regulation.
In the US in the more recent Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) requires certain food processing businesses to implement an HACCP system with risk analysis, which the FDA calls Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC).
The objective of applying risk analysis to food safety is the protection of human health.
Codex Alimentarius is a set of standards, guidelines and codes of practice to monitor and manage food safety. It recommends that it is established as an integral part of national food safety systems. Risk analysis should be:
Risk-analysis methods for food safety have been developed jointly by WHO and FAO and implemented in the Codex Alimentarius for many years. These are used as the basis for food safety standards by food standards bodies.
Three staged structured approach to risk analysis:
The scientific evaluation of known or potential adverse health effects from exposure to foodborne hazards using the following steps:
Risk management follows a structured approach to determine and implement the appropriate options. It consists of four components:
Communication is an integral part of the risk analysis and all stakeholder groups should be involved from the start to exchange information and opinion and ensure the process, outcomes, significance and limitations are understood.
Stakeholders include risk assessors, risk managers, and other interested parties.
The identification of interest groups and their representatives should comprise a part of an overall risk communication strategy.
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