Development of computer based aids to hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP).
The Razard Analysis Critical Control Point (RACCP) system has been in existence as a
method of quality assurance for over 30 years. During this time it has evolved considerably,
along with the food industry in which it is applied. Rowever, only in the last few years has the
system achieved widespread acceptance as one of the most effective methods of controlling
foodborne hazards and its principles come to be included in national legislation. Whilst the
greater implementation of RACCP has the recognised potential to bring great gains in terms of
food safety assurance, the technical nature of its procedure, which seeks to identify hazards
and prevent their occurrence via specifically targeted control measures (Critical Control Points
(CCPs», has caused some considerable difficulties in its operation.
Identifying that there was a real need for the dissemination and subsequent application
of expertise in RACCP, this piece of research work has aimed to develop a method of aiding
the practical implementation of RACCP.
A computer based solution was chosen for its potential to store, organise and access
large amounts of information and data which could be used interactively by the user to conduct
a RACCP study. Through the experiences of several companies with RACCP implementations
and the completion of a traditional RACCP study with a collaborating company, requirements
for expertise on RACCP have been identified in two main areas. The first requirement was for
knowledge, in particular with regard to hazard identification. The second requirement was for a
more clearly defined structure for the RACCP study itself, in particular with regard to hazard
Aiming to address these aspects, two computer applications based around relational
databases have been developed. This development together with limited field testing of the
second application have provided an insight into many of the problems associated with the
practice of RACCP as well as demonstrated the potential of computer based systems to both
disseminate information and aid decision processes in this area.