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HACCP and Food & Beverage Contaminations

HACCP stands for – Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points.  In the 1970’s, HACCP became recognized as an international standard for safe food production; and, the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted it as the most effective means for controlling foodborne diseases.

As defined by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), “HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.”  In other words, the HACCP system is a series of procedures implemented to control the process and sensitive points in the food chain — the ultimate goal being that foods are provided to consumers in a state and in a way that is safe for their health; and, to prevent food & beverage contaminations from occurring.

HACCP Certification

Not only is Restaurant Expert Witness – Howard Cannon, HACCP Manager Certified, but he has the knowledge and more-than-30 years experience of how HACCP and its Seven Principles apply to the restaurant food and beverage industry.

“Two-thirds of foodborne illness outbreaks in the United States are associated with restaurants or delis.” (Gould et al., 2013)  To combat restaurant-related outbreaks, many public health agencies require food safety certification for restaurant kitchen managers.  Food safety certification requires managers to pass a food safety knowledge examination.  This examination is typically preceded by food safety training or education.  Current certification efforts are based on the assumption that certification leads to greater food safety knowledge, and managers knowledgeable in food safety will operate safer restaurants.  In some cases, public health agencies also require food safety certification for restaurant food workers with the idea that certified food workers will have greater food safety knowledge and, in turn, will handle food more safely.

National Restaurant Association

The National Restaurant Association, International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), and the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA), in addition to dozens and dozens of leading manufacturers, distributors, and operators, have partnered together with a common goal to establish industry standards to ultimately provide a safer foodservice supply chain with more accountability and better traceability.

Restaurant Manager and Worker Food Safety Certification Study

In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net) conducted a study to examine the relationship between restaurant manager and worker food safety certification and food safety knowledge.  The objective:  “to examine the relationships among kitchen manager and worker food safety certification, food safety knowledge, restaurant and manager characteristics, and foodborne illness risk factors observed in restaurants.”

Study Results:  They collected data through interviews and surveys of 377 managers and 365 workers in randomly selected restaurants.  Analyses showed that “certified managers and workers had greater food safety knowledge than non-certified managers and workers.  Additionally, managers and workers whose primary language was English had greater food safety knowledge than those whose primary language was not English.  Other factors associated with greater food safety knowledge included working in a chain restaurant, working in a larger restaurant, having more experience, and having more duties.”

Conclusions:  Food safety certification improves food safety knowledge; and, food safety certification is one of the few easily modifiable factors related to food safety knowledge.  Obviously, other factors related to food safety knowledge, such as restaurant ownership and language skills, are harder to change than certification status.

The Seven Principles of HACCP:

1. The implementation of hazard analysis / risk, identify hazards / risks that may arise in the process of food production.

2. Determination of critical control points (CCP).  For each identified risk must exist at least one appropriate and critical control point whose existence enables high-quality identification of possible risks.

3.  Determination of critical limits, maximal and / or minimum value, by which the biological, chemical and physical hazards are controlled in order of prevention. If so, critical limits are adjusted to the requirements of regulations or law.

4.  Determination of procedures / processes for monitoring the CCP, with which to ensure that the CCP remains in critical limits. Monitoring of critical limits, is the answers to the questions: what, how, how often and by whom.

5.  Determination of corrective measures if monitoring shows that the CCP is not within critical limits. Corrective measures to ensure that the cause of the problem is identified and eliminated.

6.  Establishing procedures / processes for verification and certification procedures and the HACCP system is effective and works well. The authorized persons employed in manufacturing, HACCP team and the inspection of the facility should be also included in the verification activities .

7.  The establishment and effective management of records and documents, and documenting evidence that the HACCP system is working well.

Expert Witness for Slip, Trips and Falls in Restaurants - Howard Cannon

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