Flow Charting and Hazard Analysis Techniques

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BUILD A PICTURE OF THE PROCESS

Flow Charting – things that should be considered to make your hazard analysis easier :-

The Flow chart is like a picture of your process on one page. It allows you to take a step by step approach so no hazards are overlooked

  • Firstly, check all raw materials and product packaging. This should include format and necessary storage conditions. Don’t forget, microbiological, chemical and physical hazards.
  • Then, you need to record all process activities. Include,any delay steps.
  • Temperature and time profile for all stages. This is particularly important for analysis of microbiological hazards. It is vital to assess the potential for any pathogens present to grow to hazardous levels.
  • Also, types of equipment and design features that may impact food safety
  • Ask, are there any dead areas where product might build up? Will these areas be difficult to clean?
  • Is any product reworking.
  • The Floor plan is not part of the flow chart but shows details of equipment layout. HACCP Teams often find it helpful to keep  these  as  two  distinct  diagrams  in the  HACCP Plan.
  • What are the storage conditions for ingredients?
  • Lastly, distribution/customer issues

IDENTIFYING HAZARDS

HAZARD – a biological, chemical or physical property which may cause a food to be unsafe for human consumption.

TYPES OF FOOD HAZARDS

microbial hazards

Microbial Hazards

Micro organisms occur in small numbers almost everywhere in nature.  Microbes may increase under ideal time/temperature conditions. They can grow to hazardous levels.   This being said, many micro organisms make the food unsafe because they produce a toxin.

Not only this, but the presence of high levels of microbes indicates the food has been improperly handled.  Vermin can transfer microbes into food or onto surfaces.

Chemical hazards

Chemical Hazards

Some are food safety risks and others affect the quality of food. as judged by the consumer. For example, copper in water supplies from storage vessels or during cleaning.   Boiler additives are often overlooked. Therefore, an important one to consider, cleaning or sterilising solutions accidentally left in pipelines or vessels.

Chemical hazards are often overlooked. For example,

  • What sanitizers and cleaners do you use?
  • Do your products contain Preservatives?
  • Also, is it possible to have a toxin in your ingredients?
  • Are any of your ingredients likely to contain pesticides?
  • And lastly, Food Allergens

Physical Hazards

Physical hazards

Not all visible contaminants may be harmful. However, the presence of any physical hazard is unacceptable to the consumer

For example, foreign material include :

  • stones, weeds, dirt, from ingredients.
  • metal filings and wood splinters from equipment.
  • Also, hair and jewellery from staff.
  • As shown, pests.

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