Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a mechanism meant for ensuring food safety. It is a comprehensive set of guidelines that straddles across the food supply chain, right from harvest till the time it is consumed.Being such a systematic and total approach; HACCP attaches utmost importance to prevention of problems arising at any point in the food chain. The established method by which HACCP seeks to accomplish this is what is called verification and validation.
Let us get to a verbatim understanding of what these mean in HACCP lingo. Based on the definition of the word “verify” as meaning a way of establishing the truth or accuracy of something; HACCP defines “verification” in this context as “…those activities other than monitoring, that determine the monitoring, that determine the validity of and compliance with the HACCP Plan”.
Logically following on this, since to validate is to corroborate or substantiate or confirm something, HACCP seeks to establish the validity of the HACCP plan by requiring participants to provide actual, factual proof of compliance to HACCP guidelines.
Armed with a strong set of actions, HACCP seeks to strengthen the food supply chain with its set of safeguards.
Purposes of verification and validation
The HACCP has clear-cut expectations in mind about the purposes of these twin mechanisms. The purpose of verification is defined in the following:
Components of the food chain need to determine if HACCP Plan is working. They need to check periodically if hazards are being reduced by the HACCP Plan. They also need to ensure that operations are in compliance with the HACCP Plan, and make sure HACCP is being implemented properly.
On the validation aspect, HACCP seeks to ensure that all the scientific and technical information is collected and evaluated to make sure that the HACCP Plan is working effectively, and when done so, is effective in controlling the hazards.
What needs to be evaluated?
HACCP attaches importance to what needs to be evaluated for Verification and Validation. Primarily, lethality and stabilization factors, referred to as “cook and chill”, and processing room temperatures that may be above 50° F need to be evaluated.