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HACCP and SSOPs for Shellstock Shippers

What is HACCP?

HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point. It is a common sense method for identifying and controlling food-safety hazards. Using the HACCP system, you identify the hazards in your operation, establish controls, monitor them and keep records.

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a food safety system based on prevention. HACCP consists of identifying food safety hazards that are reasonably likely to occur in your food process, creating controls to prevent the hazard, and then monitoring those controls.

Seven principles of HACCP

  1. Conduct a hazard analysis and identify preventive measures. Identify biological, chemical or physical hazards associated with the product and process. For Shellstock Shippers (SS), hazards are micro-organisms & toxins such as PSP. Preventative measures include controlling the source and product temperatures.
  2. Identify critical control points (CCP). List steps in the process. For every significant hazard identified in Step 1, identify a point, step or procedure where you can prevent the food-safety hazard. A Shellfish Shipper should have at the minimum three (3) CCPs . One at Receiving, Storage and Shipping.
  3. Establish critical limits. Each CCP must have boundaries, or critical limits, to ensure safe products. SS must meet the following critical limits established by the FDA.
  4. Monitor each CCP. Determine what observations and measurements are needed to ensure critical limits are met. Identify who is responsible for verifying that the required tags are on containers at receiving, the temperature requirements are met during storage, and time is not exceeded during transfer.
  5. Establish monitoring procedures. What will be monitored? How is it done? How often will monitoring be done (frequency)? Who will do the monitoring?
  6. Establish corrective action to be taken when a critical limit is exceeded. Initiate the required corrective action when a critical limit is exceeded. For example, you may need to reject shellstock without the required tags, or you may need to destroy product that did not meet time or temperature requirements during storage or transfer.
  7. Establish a record-keeping system. Keep daily records of your CCP observations and measurements, as well as your corrective actions and process adjustments. Keep them for a year, and make them available during an inspection of your facility.

What are SSOPs?

SSOP stands for Sanitation Standard Operating Procedure. Good sanitation operating procedures are the foundation of the HACCP system. They control the in-plant environmental conditions and provide a foundation for safe food production. While storing, handling and transferring shellstock, you will have to monitor and keep records on your facility's sanitation conditions and practices.

The Eight Points of Sanitation

  1. Safety of water: water that contacts food or food-contact surfaces must be from a classified area or other approved source.
  2. Condition and cleanliness of food-contact surfaces: clean & sanitize food- contact surfaces, equipment, utensils and containers at start-up, following interruptions if needed, and at end of day. Maintain their smooth and easily cleanable condition.
  3. Prevention of cross-contamination: protect equipment, utensils and containers from contamination during storage. Wash hands before starting work, after interruptions, after using the restroom, and anytime hands may become contaminated.
  4. Maintenance of hand washing and toilet facilities: provide conveniently located hand washing and toilet facilities. Remove and properly dispose sewage and other liquid wastes.
  5. Protection from adulterants: properly store and use toxic substances, cleaning compounds and sanitizers, use clean containers and ice from an approved source, and protect shellstock from other environmental contaminants.
  6. Labeling, storage and use of chemical compounds: keep only necessary substances in the facility. Use in accordance with the label. Store pesticides, cleansers and sanitizers, and other chemicals separately.
  7. Employee health conditions: exclude employees with illness that might be transmissible through food from contact with shellstock or food contact surfaces.
  8. Exclusion of pests: exclude pests that might be a source of shellstock contamination, including insects, rodents, birds and personal pets.

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