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What is HACCP?

HACCP, or Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point, is a leading, internationally recognised preventative control system used predominantly in the food and beverage industry to prevent contamination and ensure safety.

The system outlines procedures for the control of food safety in all stages of the supply chain, from ingredients, production, storage, and distribution to the final consumer. Today, it is mandatory that packaging suppliers in this industry also have all HACCP principles in place in their facilities.

HACCP Principles

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point systems are based on seven fundamental principles:

  1. Hazard analysis: processes are evaluated to identify where a potential hazard could occur. Hazards can be physical (e.g. metal contamination), chemical (e.g. cleaning product contamination) or biological (e.g. bacterial contamination of the product).
  2. Critical control points identified: CCPs are applied to each stage of the operation where hazards have been identified. For each critical control point there will be a preventative measure.
  3. Critical limits established: criteria are established to dictate what standards must be met before the hazard can be deemed ‘controlled’.
  4. Monitoring procedures established: what will be measured and how it will be measured is identified.
  5. Identification of corrective actions: establish what actions will be taken if a critical limit is met.
  6. Record keeping procedures established: it is determined what records are required to prove that the critical limits have been met and the system is in control.
  7. Verification procedures established: systems are put in place to verify that the controls are working as planned.

Why is HACCP Important?

HACCP provides a trusted standard for customers and consumers, coupled with a stringent ongoing auditing approach to ensure safety is up to standard. The proper implementation of a HACCP program helps to minimise the likelihood of product recalls and consumer complaints through the identification and risk management of potential hazards before they occur. Raw material contamination, facility processes or human error are a few examples of how these hazards could be caused.

With an increasing emphasis on eliminating food related illness and contamination throughout the food and beverage industry, HACCP and other quality management programs are becoming non-negotiable.

Australia’s leading food businesses, whether in retail, service, manufacturing, or distribution, now expect their suppliers to have a HACCP program in place. Many also require non-food products and services to be compatible with their own HACCP program.

What does HACCP mean for Australian Businesses?

The key area of focus of HACCP is food contact packaging. However, the benefit for customers buying other products from a HACCP accredited plant is that they are purchasing from a production team highly skilled in safety and quality processes to ensure they receive ethically produced products to the highest standard of quality.

It is compulsory for Australian food businesses to provide their customers with products that are safe and need to do everything possible to uphold these standards at every stage of the supply chain. Food packaging manufacturers and suppliers must be aware of the increasing level of emphasis on packaging itself as an ingredient and a crucial step in the overall process of food manufacturing.

Companies that fail to meet food safety requirements, mandated by the Food Act or other relevant legislation, can be hit with hefty fines. Hence, it is more important than ever that businesses that supply to the food and beverage industry, or any industry for that matter, leverage root cause analysis, anticipate obvious risks, remove complacency, and have a high level of employee training, organisation and documentation in this area. Customers now expect this of their suppliers.

On a global scale, norms now demand business involvement, attentiveness, cleanliness, risk analysis, continuous improvements, and adjustments to guarantee the quality, safety, and suitability of packaging.

Food safety is a top priority, and the global COVID-19 outbreak proves this. It is the manufacturers running to HACCP standards and other quality management systems which are in the best position to ensure the safety of their employees and end users.

Supplying to a diverse range of industries, including food and beverage, Signet is a partner in food safety to customers in this space.

Food Safety Packaging Standards

Whether you sell equipment, raw materials, distribution services, packaging, or anything else that support the food and beverage industry, HACCP principles apply to you.

Australia’s Food Safety Act of 1991 sets out specific requirements for food businesses that if complied with, will ensure food does not become unsafe for consumers.

According to the Standards, a food business must only use packaging material that is fit for its intended use and only use material that is not likely to cause food contamination. The company must also ensure that there is no likelihood that the food may become contaminated during the packaging and distribution process.

The standard specifies process control requirements to be satisfied at each stage of the food handling process and supply chain. The principles of HACCP may be applied to these stages to strengthen existing processes.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Implementing a HACCP System 

  • Ensures you are compliant with the law.
  • Complements other quality management systems.
  • Saves your business money in the long run by having measures in place to prevent expensive recalls.
  • Food safety standards increase, meaning customer assurance.
  • Promotes teamwork and efficiency.
  • Documentation is readily available for due diligence.
  • Internationally recognised and recommended by the World Health Organisation, International Commission of Microbiological Specifications for Food and the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

  • Requires technical, human, and material resources not always available at the company.
  • Requires effort and involvement across departments.
  • Demands time and availability.
  • A change in company culture toward safety might be required.
  • Collection of detailed technical data and constant updating and revision.
  • A HACCP program can take a lot of work to implement if there is a low level of food safety experience among the team.

How Signet Can Help

As an Australian-owned family business, Signet is proud to keep manufacturing onshore and provide our customers with a range of 100% Australian made products.

To further help meet the needs of our customers, Signet’s local flexibles manufacturing facility is HACCP accredited. Signet is one of only a few remaining plastic manufacturers in Australia, supplying some of the leading food producers in the country where HACCP standards and compliance are critical.

Signet is proud to provide our customers with a range of the highest quality, locally manufactured HACCP accredited flexibles designed to maximise food safety and our customers’ reputation.

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