Below is quick guide to most important points to remember when monitoring CCP’s
The act of conducting a planned sequence of monitoring observations or measurements of
control parameters to assess whether a CCP is under control.
- Significantly reduces the risk of unsafe food and drink reaching the consumer.
- Provides an acceptable level of assurance in whether an operational or critical limit is under control.
- Creates an opportunity to act before a deviation at a critical limit occurs.
- Provides written documentation to support verification activities and legal compliance.
- Fundamental requirement for GFSI certification schemes and customer codes of practice.
MEASUREMENT AND OBSERVATIONS
Monitoring must provide rapid, accurate and repeatable results that relate back to critical and operational (target) limits.
There are generally two ways to monitor a critical control point: measurement and observation.
Here are just a few examples:
- Colour change in food
- Checking operation of a metal detector
- Inspecting sieves
Monitoring can be conducted on-line or off-line.
- On-line systems take measurements continuously or at intervals during the process
- Off-line systems take samples for rapid testing, using instruments such as calibrated pH or Aw
Observational systems also check if a critical limit can be detected and control mechanisms in place for a CCP are working as expected.
Continuously monitoring systems may also require additional manual checks to verify accuracy.
- Monitoring systems must permit enough time to take necessary corrective action to regain control over the process and prevent a deviation of a critical limit.
- Determination of monitoring frequency is based on sound historical knowledge of the product and process (e.g. throughput).
- Frequency of monitoring can be time based (e.g. hourly) or production based (each batch)
- Rate of frequency must prevent an unsafe product reaching the consumer and minimise wastage.
- An incident or change in the process may increase frequency of monitoring.
- CCP monitors are often personnel associated with production because they are familiar with the process.
- Production supervisors or managers and personnel in quality assurance usually oversee the monitoring activity.
- Personnel assigned to monitoring CCP’s must trained in HACCP awareness, monitoring techniques and corrective procedures.
Equipment used to monitor operational and critical limits at CCP’s must be:
- easy as possible for production personnel to operate
- close to the point of testing to provide quick results
- operated by a competent CCP monitor
- maintained and calibrated to provide reliable results
THE MONITORING PLAN
States what critical limits and operational limits will be observed and/or measured.
Explains where monitoring will take place, usually a location or point in the process.
Describes a step by step procedure for the monitoring activity.
States the frequency of measurements and/or observations.
States those responsibility for performing the monitoring activity, taking immediate corrective action and signing off records.
List records used to document the results of your monitoring activities.