There are 3 acronyms important when dealing with the safety of food manufacturing:
Know the difference!
HACCP – Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point
HACCP, as many of you will know, was initially developed in the 1960s by NASA to prevent astronauts from contracting food poisoning in space. It has since been refined and is now part of every major food manufacturer/supplier’s day-to-day routine. It stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points and can be approached either by product or process.
The HACCP team evaluates the entire production process step by step from delivery intake to packaging and transport of the completed product. During this process, any stages where the product could be subject to physical, microbiological or chemical contamination are identified. Measures are put in place for those deemed critical (i.e. metal detectors, temperature controls, cleaning etc.) and these are regularly monitored to ensure that the product is safe for human consumption.
TACCP – Threat Assessment Critical Control Point
Relatively new, TACCP, by comparison stands for Threat Assessment Critical Control Point. An essential part of food safety management and required under the latest BRC version 7 Global Standard, it was developed in reaction to the increase in food fraud detected in recent years. The most widely reported was, of course, the horsemeat scandal but food fraud manifests itself in a variety of different ways.
Whereas HACCP is concerned with the prevention of food-borne illnesses and the prevention of unintentional or accidental hazards/threats to food safety, TACCP is concerned with the prevention of deliberate and intentional food fraud. This can take the form of substitution of ingredients, passing off of one foodstuff for another, false or misleading statements for economic gain that could impact public health, product tampering, fake or incorrect labelling etc. Product traceability throughout the supply chain is hence of vital importance.
VACCP – Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Points
TACCP and VACCP go hand in hand in the quest to demonstrate product authenticity. Both are designed to prevent the intentional adulteration of food. TACCP identifies the threat of behaviorally or economically-motivated adulteration; VACCP identifies how vulnerable various points in the supply chain are to the threat of economically-motivated adulteration. Again, the assessment of vulnerability is required to satisfy requirements of BRCv7.