- Public health agents
- Second-party auditors
- Third-party auditors
Verification should accomplish two things:
- Assure the scientific basis for hazard controls (validity).
- Evaluate the capacity of the management system to control hazards.
Before performing an effective verification of a HACCP management system and critical control points, auditors must have very keen knowledge of the science upon which the critical controls are based. The areas of scientific background needed by auditors include microbiology, chemistry and the physical sciences. In addition, because the HACCP system is a type of total quality management system (TQM), auditors should also be familiar with management concepts. Public health protection is the responsibility of our government, yet recently there has been an emphasis on public health protection in the field of auditing, along with an attendant legal liability. In addition to verification and validation of food safety systems, we can now add the legal responsibilities of operators and auditors alike to protect public health and safety to the verification process.
- Agent, or microbe, that causes the disease (the “what” of the Triangle).
- Host, or organism, harboring the disease (the “who” of the Triangle).
- Environment, or those external factors that cause or allow disease transmission (the “where” of the Triangle).
- The arrows point in both directions, illustrating the routes of transmission.
- Test kits for antimicrobial strength of solutions
- Thermometers, thermocouples and data loggers
- ATP bioluminometers
- Oxidation-Reduction Potentiometers and pH meters
- Food from unsafe sources
- Improper temperature control
- Poor employee health and hygiene
- Inadequate cooking
- Buyer requirements and industry standards
- Scientific research
Buyers of food, along with the industry itself, have come to their own understanding of critical controls. Washing of produce, for example, is often cited by the produce industry as a requirement to include in a HACCP plan as a critical control. However, there is inconsistency in this approach and too often such requirements do not have a sound scientific basis. Government regulations tend to be more scientific; however, political considerations often enter in the decision-making process and affect what controls agencies deem critical.
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