Munich - Within the scope of due care and diligence, all direct and indirect players in the food value chain need to reliably control food safety risks. This is done with the help of a preventive safety management system focusing on the validation and verification of the measures used. TÜV SÜD’s food experts explain which aspects to look out for and which mistakes are frequently made.
In addition to hygiene measures required by law such as personnel hygiene, pest control or waste management, companies must manage individual residual risk by applying an HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) study. The companies must analyse risks, identify critical control points and check them against defined limits. Validation and verification of the HACCP plan are essential components of the prevention concept.
Validation and verification
Validation proves that the measures applied are suitable and effective for ensuring compliance with food-safety requirements. For this purpose, companies need to establish precise objectives in an HACCP plan, define a validation approach and appropriate parameters, and check their method in a field test. The outcome must be evaluated and all steps of the validation procedure documented. Verification then determines whether the methods, procedures, tests and evaluations applied conform to the HACCP plan. Various standards of international and national organisations, such as ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation), IFS (International Features Standards), the guidelines of the German Retail Federation and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certification, help companies to comply with the legal requirements for validation and verification.
Validation and verification are prone to mistakes, which, however, are easy to avoid. Many companies, for example, fail to document the measures in writing. In case of a change in personnel in Production Management or Quality Management, the measures can no longer be fully explained or implemented. Another mistake by many companies is failure to repeat validation after a change in process parameters. Avoiding these mistakes is easy and significantly improves safety management. Companies wishing to be on the safe side and make sure that they meet all requirements can have their HACCP system tested and certified by TÜV SÜD.