The Background of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Implementation

In the 1960´s, the Pillsbury Company in cooperation with the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) first constructed HACCP to describe the systematic approach to food safety. The goal of the programme was to come as close to 100% assurance as possible that the food produced for space use would not be contaminated with bacterial or viral pathogens, toxins, chemicals or physical hazards that could cause an illness or injury (Pierson and Corlett, 1992).

In 1971, the HACCP concept was first presented at the first National Conference on Food Protection. During the 1970's and 1980's a number of the food companies requested information to help them establish their own HACCP programmes. In 1985, USA National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recommended the HACCP system in the publication Evaluation of the role of microbiological criteria for food and food ingredients (Pierson and Corlett, 1992). The Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for food developed material elaborated principles of this food safety and quality management system based on NAS recommendation and provided guidance for their application for food processing operations. HACCP was recommended in both food regulator and industry because it was the most effective and efficient means of assuring the safety of the food supply (Limpus, 1997).

In 1990 the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) on Food Hygiene started to prepare a draft guideline for the application of HACCP system (Huss, 1994). In the last ten years, HACCP has become widely used. It is now a legislative requirement in USA, Canada and EU-countries. Some countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Egypt, South Africa, and many others have also adopted or are considering food safety control systems based on HACCP.

In Canada, the Quality Management Program (QMP) was established as a mandatory programme for food inspection in February 1992. It was based on HACCP principles. The QMP uses the principles of HACCP for ensuring safe food production, to provide a high level of assurance that fish and seafood products produced in Canada are safe and wholesome to eat (CFIA 2001).

In 1995, The United State Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published final regulations that require processors of fish and fishery products to develop and implement HACCP systems for their operations including imported fish and fishery products. Those regulations became effective on December 18, 1997 (FDA 1998).

The European Union has issued the Directive 91/493/EEC (22/7/1991) and the Directive 94/356/EC (20/5/1994), which requires all seafood processing establishments that export their products to EU market to carry out HACCP system called "Own check".

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