Process Validation in the Food Industry

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Process Validation in the Food Industry

Process Validation in the Food Industry – this is something we don’t do very well, if at all.  Why? – because many FBOs don’t understand the difference between Validation and Verification.  The seven HACCP principles have a lot to answer for in that they were devised before I was born and that was a long time ago and they haven’t changed since.  The seven make no reference to “Risk” or “Validation” so many FBOs feel unsure as to the best approach.

Personally I was quite confused until I came across a USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) document that clearly defined the approach to HACCP System Validation.  The FSIS have a Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs) for HACCP implementation (9 CFR 417.4) which details the Validation requirement for FBOs particularly in the meat sector.  It discusses Part 1 (Scientific Support) and Part II (In plant trial) Validation.  This document gives worked examples on how to gather and present validation data for CCPs.

Once a Validation methodology has been established the same approach can be used for oPRPs and PRPs.  BRC Issue 7 makes reference to Validation on three separate occasions; cleaning x 2 and HACCP review.  For those FBOs with mature HACCP Systems, Process Validation is the area of focus for retailers and certification bodies to ensure continuous improvement of the Food Safety Management System.

Learn more on our one day ‘Validation of Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS)

Submitted by Denis Kiely, SQT Food Safety tutor


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