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HARPC 101: The Basics For Review With Your Team

It was only 30 years ago that the word HACCP was virtually unknown. Today it has become a common acronym within food companies that pride themselves on being prepared. But now there is a new sheriff in town: HARPC.

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) made revisions to HACCP that mean more validations for every member of teh food supply chain. At the core of the food safety plan is a new process that requires identification and prevention of all reasonably foreseeable food safety hazards—whether naturally occuring or unintentionally introduced into the facility—not just those identified by Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) methods. This new process is called Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC). While the food safety plan must describe the current knowledge base that the food company uses to prevent food safety issues in each of its manufactured foods, HARPC is the process and plan to implement its food safety plan in each of its facilities.

The validation of preventive controls of each HARPC plan in each facility must be done by a qualified individual before the food safety plan is implemented or whenever there is a need to reanalyze it. It must include collecting and evaluating scientific and technical information to support each HARPC plan. The monitoring of the plan must be verified, as must decisions about proper corrective actions. All verification and validation activities must be documented.

Simply stated, HARPC is the system used to control the different hazards found in different facilities that manufacture food. Each food manufacturing facility owned and operated by a food company must have its own HARPC plan if there are any differences in the foods it manufactures between facilities. The food company must include each validated HARPC plan for each of its facilities in its food safety plan.

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