The EU has introduced the obligation for all agro-food companies to adopt systematic self-monitoring procedures against hygiene and health risks as well as product verifications through analyses aimed at preventing the risk of contamination or alteration of product characteristics.
Besides complying with the new regulation, an organization may choose to certify its self-monitoring management system based on the HACCP scheme applicable to all operations, from food production to distribution and consumption, according to three basic principles:
- Analyse hazards.
- Identify critical control points (CCPs), i.e. points in a food's production to keep monitored in order to control or eliminate potential hazard.
- Establish critical limits to meet for an effective management of CCPs.
- Establish procedures to monitor CCPs.
- Establish corrective actions to be taken when monitoring shows that a critical limit has not been met
- Establish procedures to verify that the HACCP system is working properly
- Establish effective recordkeeping to document all procedures and records, adequate to the above principles and to their application.
- The certification is issued following on-site audits and has a three-year validity.
- Inspection audits are carried out yearly in order to confirm the validity of the certificate throughout the three-yearly contract.