The Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points system was originally developed by NASA to ensure the safety of foodstuffs used by astronauts, but has been widely implemented within the Human Food industry. Even in the Feed Industry, the focus of HACCP remains on the impact that potential hazards could have on humans in the end, with the animals acting as a “carrier” of the hazard to the human end user. While a HACCP program within the Feed Industry is still voluntary, there is a push underway to implement such a system on a more wide-spread basis to include the use of formal third-party auditing.
The basic premise of a HACCP program is to look critically at the manufacturing process itself and to identify areas in the process where hazards (biological, chemical or physical) can be introduced. Once these points have been identified, the HACCP team must set any critical limits for the hazards (values at which the hazard could pose a threat to animals, and in turn, humans) and develop strategies for monitoring these levels to ensure that they do not exceed the critical limits. If the hazards do exceed the critical limit, the company must have documented procedures for abating the hazard down to an acceptable level.
Again, the HACCP program relies heavily on the prerequisite processes formed by the ISO and Safe Feed/Safe Food systems to manage the interactions between all business functions, although HACCP is primarily concerned with the manufacturing process itself.