Who can create a HACCP plan and implement a HACCP system in an FBO (Food Business Operator)? The simple answer is “anyone who’s HACCP trained”. But what does that really mean?
The better answer is a “HACCP team”. That’s the group of people responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining the HACCP system. The main role and functions of the HACCP team are to develop, implement, and maintain an effective HACCP system, which meets legal requirements, and codes of practice standards, and protects consumers from harm.
A HACCP Team can be defined as a group of people who have adequate skills and knowledge applicable to the development and implementation of a HACCP-based food safety program. The requirement to assemble a team is documented in Codex HACCP at preliminary step 1 – Assemble the HACCP team. The team should be multi-disciplinary and include individuals from areas such as engineering, production, sanitation, quality assurance, and food microbiology.
Each team member, at the very least, should be HACCP trained in accordance with the Codex Alimentarius requirements, which are required by the FDA, USDA, and many GFSI schemes like Primus GFS, Global Aquaculture Alliance Seafood, Global Gap, FSSC 22000, Global Red Meat Standard, CanadaGAP, SQF, BRCGS Global Standard, IFS International Featured Standards, and Japan Food Safety Management Association.
The HACCP training requirements for the HACCP team members are that the training teaches HACCP, be at least 16 hours long, be examinable, and be accredited by a well-known entity. It can be done in a classroom, in a board room, online, etc. Once completed the student will have a HACCP certificate attesting to the successful completion of the course. There is no expiration date on a HACCP certificate.
Senior management will normally appoint the HACCP team leader, usually a competent technical manager who has expertise in the practical application of HACCP and underpinning leadership and management skills. The HACCP team leader is held accountable by management for delivering an effective HACCP system. If it’s a small company it may be you or a consultant that you’ve hired but either way, once appropriate training has been completed the HACCP plan can be initiated and the HACCP system, soon thereafter, implemented.
Getting HACCP certified means there’s a risk management framework to prevent a loss of reputation. Businesses recover any costs borne in earning HACCP because the certification can drastically reduce the likelihood of recalls, lawsuits, and penalties.