IS HACCP ONLY APPLICABLE TO PROFESSIONALS? PART 2
In part 1 of this subject, I explained the paper work involved in practicing HACCP professionally.
If identifying all these critical control points is so important to ensure food safety standards, what happens when all these carefully taken measures are done away with at home?
Well, as a consumer we trust the manufacturer, especially when they have a HACCP logo on their packaging label. When we come home after the purchase, we open the packaging. Maybe we use a part of it, store the balance in the refrigerator and that is it.
Let us look at this example. When a manufacturer uses a table model can opener and the internal part of the opener (where the knife is placed) is rusty, this becomes a critical control point by HACCP standards and the manufacturer will be required to rectify this Critical Control Point by replacing the can opener with one made of full stainless steel.
Practicing HACCP at Home
When we have the same issue at home, there is no more issue. Because
nobody realizes or notices that some rust in a can opener is actually not too good for you and your family.
Surely we all hold the health of our family at heart. Practicing full HACCP at home is unthinkable. We simply do not do that.
Practicing good hygiene and keeping some of the HACCP principles in mind is however a good idea.
Re-packing is a good practice, when you use part of a product from a can, you will not be able to close the can again. If that is the case place the balance content of the used can in a vacuum pouch and vacuum.
If it is liquid (soup for example), you can freeze the balance in the pouch and vacuum after freezing.
Most if not all of products available in the market can be treated this way. Products bought in jars, cans and other types of packaging. The products do not only stay in better condition but their shelf life is prolonged and they will not be subjected to hazardous bacteria that accumulate on the inside of jar lids and lids of half opened cans anymore.
When you pre- prepare foods before vacuuming, ensure that your work station is clean and
that you do not mix raw and cooked food products. Clean chopping boards and utensils before use and when you switch from meat to fish to fruit to vegetables. Best is to use dedicated chopping boards but not everyone does or can do that.
Keep your vacuum sealer clean especially the seal strip. It is likely you do not use the vacuum sealer everyday and it is therefore important that hazardous bacteria have no accumulation opportunities during storage of the machine.
Applying HACCP principles will help you to achieve better home cooking practices. Your vacuum sealer is a perfect tool and aids you again.
Is HACCP applicable at home? Yes it is, nobody expects you to fill in all the forms like manufacturers are required to do. The main principle of HACCP is food safety and that is something that can be achieved.
By: Marinus Hoogendoorn