Wednesday, July 18, 2018

What is Critical Control Points?

A critical control point (CCP) is a point, step, or procedure at which a significant hazard occurs in food preparation and handling, and at which control can be applied to prevent, eliminate, or reduce the hazard to an acceptable level.

In most instances, monitoring of CCPs can best be accomplished through the use of physical and chemical tests, and through visual observations. HACCP requires the maintenance of records and reports generated during the monitoring of the Critical Control Point. And finally, the effectiveness of the CCP monitoring process needs to be verified periodically.

Critical control points are located at any step where hazards can be either prevented, eliminated, or reduced to acceptable levels. Examples of CCPs may include: thermal processing, chilling, testing ingredients for chemical residues, product formulation control, and testing product for metal contaminants. CCPs must be carefully developed and documented.

CCP determination involves a thorough examination of the raw materials and process steps that are listed in the process flow diagram. HACCP team has to identify potential hazard in raw materials and process steps and establish specific control measure for the identified hazard.

Each CCP will have one or more control measures to assure that the identified hazards are prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels. Each control measure has one or more associated critical limits. Critical limits may be based upon factors such as: temperature, time, physical dimensions, humidity, moisture level, water activity (Aw), pH, titratable acidity, salt concentration, available chlorine, viscosity, preservatives, or sensory information such as aroma and visual appearance. Critical limits must be scientifically based.

It is important to understand that HACCP is a system that revolves around food safety, not food. Therefore, quality system, in particular, CCP is related to food safety issues, not related to the issue of food quality.
What is Critical Control Points?
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