PROCESS EXPO | Expert in Residence
Validation: An Important Part of Your HACCP System
Joe Cordray Ph.D. | Iowa State University
HACCP Validation has been a part of HACCP since its inception. HACCP Principle 7: Verification contains two parts: initial validation and ongoing verification. We have been discussing initial validation since the passage of the Pathogen Reduction Act in 1996.
At this time, FSIS is re-emphasizing initial validation because over the last few years FSIS has identified instances in which inadequate validation has led to the production of adulterated products and in some cases illnesses.
HACCP Systems Validation contains two elements. Element 1: Scientific or Technical Support (design) and Element 2: In-Plant Validation Data (execution). Validation is the process of demonstrating that the HACCP System as designed can adequately control potential hazards to produce safe, unadulterated product.
FSIS has worked very hard to make sure information is available to plants on HACCP Validation. For information on validation go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov. In the search FSIS window in the upper right corner of the FSIS homepage enter: HACCP Validation Resources. You will get a listing of several different areas with information on HACCP Validation. Click on the HACCP Validation Resources link. At the top of the page that you will be directed to are two PowerPoints with information for industry. I suggest reviewing the one dated December 21, 2015. A little further down the page is a link to a video and PowerPoint used to train inspectors on HACCP Validation. Further down the page is a link to Regulatory Compliance Guides. Look under the HACCP section of these guides and you can download the FSIS Compliance Guideline HACCP Systems Validation April 2015 which contains detailed information on validation.
Be patient with yourself. It takes a while to understand validation and execute it but it is worth it because it helps to assure the safety of your products. Remember: Food Safety is paramount.