Recent sources on a certain well-known business based social media site have suggested that HACCP is disappearing, and ISO is the way to go – this almost certainly being a reference to ISO 22000. Is this true? A specific post comes to mind that stated…
“At the beginning of 2018 I reported it on this network, HACCP is going to leave from food land. Not only all food producers, but also we as consultants and many suppliers will have to get used to the fact that there will no longer be HACCP. How often do you not see the claim that a producer manufactures, supplies or assembles according to the HACCP? Incidentally, a strange statement because HACCP is a protocol, but that aside. The GFSI has said goodbye in any case and the validity of the last certificates runs until 1 January 2021 at the latest. And now? The logical successor for many companies is the iso system”.
The broader question is where this information emanates from and whether there is any truth to it in terms of the food industry. HACCP as a food safety management system is not disappearing. It’s far too successful for that. The nomenclature and terms surrounding a food safety management programme, are, however, at least to a certain extent:
A reasonable example of this can be found in the latest iteration of ISO 22000, which is now ISO 22000:2018 (the older version being ISO 22000:2005). The transition period for food industry, that is certified to this standard, to update to the new version, ends in Summer 2021. The scope of this standard can be read here www.iso.org/standard/65464.html
HACCP and ISO 22000:2018
Let’s take a look inside this standard and see how it addresses the need to identify and control food safety hazards through the HACCP process. The standard, it should at first be noted, aligns very closely with the format of ISO 9001:2015, the deliberate outcome of trying to align some of the world’s most commonly used ISO standards. ISO 9001 of course does not specifically address food safety management, so this topic is picked up in ISO 22000:2018, specifically in section 8.2 (Prerequisite programmes) and 8.5 Hazard control. Section 8.5 specifies the requirement to conduct the preliminary steps of describing and understanding raw materials and product, in the context of potential food safety hazards, intended use (including reasonably expected mishandling and misuse of end product), flow diagram, hazard analysis, selection and validation of control measures and then, crucially, in 8.5.4 “Hazard control plan”. At this point the term “HACCP plan” is combined with “OPRP” and demoted to appearance within brackets after the section title – Hazard Control Plan. This is different to the previous version of ISO 22000 (the 2005 standard), in which section 7.6 was very clearly titled “Establishing the HACCP Plan”.
HACCP and the BRCGS Food Safety Standard Version 8
The same theme here is picked up in the BRCGS Global Food Safety Standard in its 8th issue, wherein section 2 is entitled “The Food Safety Plan – HACCP”. BRCGS, in their key changes document, discuss a slight change in terminology where the Statement of Intent to Section 2 has changed ever so slightly to “The company shall have a fully implemented and effective food safety plan incorporating the Codex Alimentarius HACCP principles”. Their comment on this is as follows: “Some countries (e.g. the US) have introduced regulatory requirements that incorporate all of the HACCP processes outlined by the Codex Alimentarius but use different terminology. The specific terminology within the Standard, such as HACCP, prerequisites or critical control points, are intended to utilise the most commonly used global terminology to describe expectations. Sites are not required to use the specific terminology of the Standard but are expected to fully meet the requirements”.
The principles of HACCP are here to stay
We can conclude from two of the most commonly used global food safety standards, that “HACCP” is not disappearing. Why would it? Despite being methodology that’s 55 odd years old (with of course improvements in implementation and practice) it still works. Rather, terms being used within the food industry are changing somewhat, and you will not always necessarily hear the term HACCP, but instead may hear HARPC, “Food Safety Plan” or “Hazard control plan”, or similar. The aim and outcome though, in terms of producing safe food and protecting the consumer, is the same, regardless of the terminology used. If you need help writing, implementing, auditing or training a quality system and food safety management plan, which is compliant to ISO 22000:2018 or FSSC 22000, which is the GFSI benchmarked version then visit our page here https://mqmconsulting.co.uk/services/fssc-22000/ or contact us https://mqmconsulting.co.uk/contact/