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Level 2 HACCP, Level 3 HACCP or Level 4 HACCP – which HACCP course to take?

Cheese store What is HACCP?

Quite simply, it stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. It is an internationally-recognised food safety management system that applies to all in the food industry, except primary producers. HACCP is concerned with food safety, not food quality. It is about identifying Critical Control Points where there is a potential risk of contamination and putting measures in place to control those risks.  You can learn more about this on a HACCP course.

An effective HACCP plan will include all 7 Codex principles:

  1. Identify hazards and control measures
  2. Identify Critical Control Points (CCPs)
  3. Establish Critical Limits
  4. Establish a CCP monitoring system
  5. Establish corrective action procedures
  6. Establish verification procedures
  7. Establish documentation and records

But in order to be truly effective, a comprehensive prerequisite programme must already be in place. This addresses such areas as pest control, cleaning, waste control and good laboratory practice.  Incident management, quality management systems, traceability and operator training are also prerequisites. So is calibration, preventative maintenance and supplier safety assurance.

salmonella bacteriaWhy take a HACCP course?

First of all, it’s a legal requirement for any food and drink production company. Moreover major retailers also insist on HACCP being implemented throughout the food chain. This is because they need to be certain that the food they sell to their customers has been produced under strict controls to ensure safety, especially if it has their own name on it!

The whole point of a HACCP plan is to identify Critical Control Points (CCPs) in a process.  A CCP is a point, step or procedure at which controls can be applied and a food safety hazard can be prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable (critical) levels. This step-by-step process increases confidence from those buying your products. In addition it demonstrates management commitment to safe food practices.

HACCP systems, when implemented correctly, can reduce wastage or product recalls on food safety grounds.  In addition, an up-to-date plan will demonstrate that you have taken all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid a breach of food safety and hygiene laws.

Who needs to take HACCP training?

Ideally everyone involved in the planning, production and maintenance of your product should be aware of potential hazards and Critical Control Points. For operatives this means a basic understanding and knowledge of Food Safety and HACCP. A 1-day Level 2 HACCP course should give them the basics.

HACCP team leaderLevel 3 or Level 4 ?

For managers and key supervisors, the HACCP Level 3 course will give them an excellent grounding in HACCP principles and methodology. Our RSPH Level 3  HACCP course will give them the skills to design and implement an effective system. The course includes group exercises. Process Flow Diagrams are produced and Critical Control Points (CCPs) are identified using the Codex CCP decision tree. The course also covers monitoring of CCPs, corrective actions and defining responsibility.

Level 4 HACCP is an advanced course perfect for HACCP Team Leaders, Technical Managers, Consultants and Enforcers. It covers the longer term and management issues of HACCP which are essential for the effective functioning of the system.

Many major retailers now require HACCP team leaders and managers at their suppliers to have advanced HACCP qualifications. Our Level 4 HACCP course will ensure you meet their exacting standards.

Find out more information about our HACCP courses

We run regular Level 3 HACCP and Level 4 HACCP courses at our training centre in Skipton, North Yorkshire. To view our training calendar, please click here. Alternatively, if you have 5 or more staff to train, why not ask about one of our in-house HACCP courses run at your own premises?

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