HACCP Certification | Here to Stay?

As mentioned in one of our other blogs, HACCP | What You Need to Know, HACCP is an acronym that stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. It is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product. It has been the standard food safety approach in the food industry for many years. 
HACCP Certification

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Impacts

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has significantly impacted the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system. FSMA, signed into law in 2011, aims to enhance food safety by shifting the focus from reactive to preventive measures. While HACCP is a well-established system for managing food safety risks, FSMA introduced several changes to further strengthen it. FSMA mandates more rigorous preventive controls to include those such as sanitation and allergen controls. Areas that were not commonly part of HACCP CCP’s (critical control points). It requires facilities to also address potential hazards from intentional adulteration and supply chain vulnerabilities. Ultimately, FSMA has bolstered HACCP's effectiveness by modernizing it to meet evolving food safety challenges and ensuring a safer food supply chain.

Why is HACCP Certification Still Necessary for 3rd Party Audits?

Third-party audits are conducted by independent organizations to assess a food manufacturer or processor's compliance with safety standards. Many of these audits are based on international standards, whereas FSMA is a US standard. International food safety standards still require facilities to have plans based on the 12 steps of HACCP. Therefore, auditors will expect representatives from each company to have a HACCP-based food safety system with appropriate HACCP training.

Who Should Get Certified?

Certain food facilities are still required by U.S. law to have a HACCP-based food safety system. These include facilities that process seafood, juice or meat and poultry products. Also, as mentioned above, food facilities that have 3rd party food safety audits based on international standards, such as BRC and SQF, are required to have a food safety system based on the 12 steps of HACCP. Individuals who have a significant food safety responsibility at each facility should be trained. We always recommend a minimum of two employees from each company be HACCP certified, however, it is best practice for everyone on the food safety team to have their certification.

HACCP Certification Options

Certification can be obtained by either online or in-person training. Training providers should be approved by the International HACCP Alliance (IHA) and certificates should have the gold IHA seal. These classes are commonly 2-day classes. Food Safety & Quality Services is an approved HACCP training provider by the IHA and we offer in-person, online and private HACCP certification courses taught by a lead instructor with over 20 years of industry experience.

Certificate Expiration

We often get asked if training certificates expire. The short answer is no. However, reality is that recertification is recommended by industry professionals and IHA every 3-5 years.  Auditors will look at certificate dates and recommend retraining if training dates are 5+ years old. So we recommend you take the 2-day course at a minimum of every 5 years.

So Is HACCP Here To Stay?

There is no indication that this training will be 100% replaced by PCQI or any other food safety training anytime in the near future. As mentioned earlier, some products are still required to operate under traditional Hazard Analysis and Critical Control plans by law. Those processors that are now required to have a Preventive Controls plan by FDA, still may need a HACCP-based system to comply with 3rd-party audits such as BRC and SQF.  These facilities will need to show auditors recent certificates for both PCQI and HACCP training.

If your certification is more than 3 years old, you have questions about certification requirements or HACCP training that is right for you and your company, contact us today for a free consultation.

About the author

Food Safety Specialist Lance Roberie

Lance Roberie

Food Safety Consultant and Trainer

Lance Roberie has over 20 years of quality assurance and food safety experience within the food industry. Mr. Roberie holds the following certifications:

Lance and the Food Safety & Quality Services’ training curriculum will advance your team's food safety knowledge through certified training, consulting, and “real life” industry scenarios.

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