Understanding Certifications for Your Ingredient Supplier: HACCP
Crafting the best product means getting your hands on the best ingredients. While this sounds obvious in theory, anyone who works in ingredient procurement knows that obtaining superior ingredients takes a lot of research and nurtured relationships with trusted producers. Fortunately, several standards are in place that help businesses in the food industry measure the quality and safety of their suppliers.
One of the gold standards in food safety is the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). Read on to learn more about this certification, and why it’s important to source your ingredients from suppliers who are HACCP certified.
What is HACCP?
HACCP is a system for managing the safety of food during the production process. It seeks to mitigate any risks by keeping chemical contaminants and microbiological hazards, such as E. Coli, out of ingredients at every stage from seed to stall. Identifying places where hazards may occur and introducing strict rules to prevent them also strengthens and streamlines the food production process.
HACCP follows seven principles to ensure food safety:
- Conducting a hazard analysis to figure out which hazards could be introduced
- Determining the critical control points (CCPs) in the process where hazards could be introduced
- Establishing critical limits for preventative measures, which often include FDA regulations
- Establishing monitoring procedures to ensure CCPs stay within limits
- Establishing corrective actions if it is determined that a CCP is falling outside of established limits
- Establishing verification procedures to make sure the HACCP process is working to keep hazards out of the food, which may include sampling
- Establishing record-keeping and documentation procedures for verification and deviation procedures
How Do Suppliers Get Certified?
HACCP is an internationally recognized certification, so producers must go through an official process to earn the stamp of approval.
To become certified, a trained safety auditor must examine the company’s facilities. The safety auditor will evaluate the company’s HACCP process according to the seven principles to ensure production meets the appropriate standards. The audit can last approximately 1 to 5 days, and producers must pay for the audit and any necessary adjustments required as a result of the audit, prior to certification.
The care, time, and expenses required for the HACCP certification mean that a company must be serious about creating a hazard-free environment for food production — and that’s a good sign.
Why Should You Care About HACCP?
Whether you’re a food processor, retailer or work in CPG, knowing where your ingredients come from is crucial. Subpar ingredients can lead to an inferior product, a product recall, or worse, a sickness outbreak linked back to your food. Paying attention to certifications is one of the easiest ways to figure out if you’re getting ingredients from a source that cares about hazard reduction and actively creates a safe environment.
Food certifications, like, HACCP not only create a safe environment for food production, they also streamline the process. When you get food sourced from a certified vendor, you’re not only getting ingredients that have been created in safe and sterile environments — you can also rely on consistent quality. That means, considering the certifications of your food suppliers, now, will spare you potentially big headaches later.
How Seawind Foods Ensures Food Safety and Quality
Seawind Foods works exclusively with food producers and farmers who are certified HACCP. With Seawind Foods as your trusted ingredient supplier, you don’t have to vet each producer yourself — we do the work for you, through highly rigorous quality checks at our production sites and the dedicated efforts of our Regulatory Affairs department. When you work with Seawind, you know you’re getting ingredients sourced from a certified producer.
Not only does Seawind source ingredients from producers who are HACCP certified, but most of our food producers are also certified with GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative). GFSI is even more stringent than HACCP, so you can rest easy knowing the ingredients you need have been well vetted before you even place your order.
Paying attention to supplier certifications isn’t just about looking out for your customers — it’s also about giving your business peace of mind by lowering your risk of contamination, recalls, or other costly issues in your food supply. Contact Seawind Foods today to find out more about our high quality ingredients, or to order a sample and experience the quality for yourself.