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What is HACCP?
The HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, literally "Risk analysis and critical control points") is a system of hygienic self-control that Operators of the Food Sector (OSA) are required to apply by law to prevent food contamination hazards, with the aim of guaranteeing hygienic safety and edibility. In practice, anyone who works closely with food and drink, in addition to companies operating in the food sector, are required to comply with the HACCP legislation through a specific certification.
From what law is HACCP regulated?
The topic is governed by the Legislative Decree 193/07 according to which a hygienic self-control activity is envisaged in all public establishments and in the food industries. In particular, the company manager is expected to guarantee an adequate level of hygiene with regard to all the processes that affect food, namely the manufacture, processing, packaging, storage, transport, distribution, preparation, handling, sale and administration. The decree is based on the European Regulation (EC) 852/2004 for the training of food industry personnel. Furthermore, the regional legislation can specifically regulate the training of personnel in the food sector, providing training methods, programs and duration of specific courses for each region.
How is the HACCP system implemented?
The implementation of a HACCP system is certified by drawing up a specific self-control manual (or "self-control plan"), which contains all the actions, procedures and verifications necessary to correctly manage production; the administration; food sales. The purpose of the self-control plan is to describe and document all the methods used to guarantee the integrity, safety and wholesomeness of the preparations; this plan provides precise protocols both to implement potentially more critical activities for food safety and to implement the necessary controls and prevent any contamination of a chemical, physical or microbiological nature.
What should the self-control plan contain?
A self-control plan on food safety that can be said to be effective must respect the following principles:
What is the HACCP certificate (or certificate)?
This is a document, achievable through the attendance of specific training courses, which demonstrates the possession of knowledge related to microbiology, food preservation, sanitation of facilities / equipment and in general to all aspects relating to the subject 'food hygiene', both with regard to national and European laws. The certificate has the characteristic that whoever is in possession of it is able to protect the health of those who will come into contact with foods that have previously been processed and handled. The worker who does not handle food must have general knowledge, since his contact with food is not direct.
What training courses require HACCP
Food business operators must ensure that food food handlers receive food hygiene training in relation to the type of activity, respecting the requirements of national legislation. Therefore, all workers involved in the handling, administration and sale of food substances are required to be in possession of a mandatory certificate, which they can obtain by attending specific training courses, depending on the tasks assigned to the individual worker. These HACCP courses provide workers with the appropriate tools and knowledge to enable them to prevent assessing and possibly even knowing how to remedy any risks to food hygiene. The HACCP course has the minimum duration of 4 hours for the Employees and 8 hours for the Responsible, while the mandatory update has a periodicity update variable from region to region, typically 8 hours (12 for company owners of only the regions of Tuscany, Lazio, Liguria and Calabria). The objective of training on HACCP food hygiene is to provide the appropriate tools and knowledge to know how to safeguard and guarantee the highest quality of the product.
What penalties are provided for those who do not comply with the rules on food hygiene and safety?
Legislative Decree 193/2007 establishes the implementation of Directive 2004/41 / EC relating to controls on food safety and the application of EU regulations in the same sector. Article 6 of this decree defines the sanctions for those who do not comply with the rules on food hygiene and safety, providing for an administrative and pecuniary sanction from 1,000 to 6,000 euros for:
In general, failure to comply with food safety regulations can also lead to far more serious sanctions. Just to name a few: