Quality is our number one priority, and we follow special criteria to make sure it happens. Foremost is a fully implemented HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) program. Space-age technology designed to keep food safe in outer space is implemented at All American Foods, Inc. to ensure our customers the highest quality products.
The Food and Drug Administration has adopted a food safety program developed nearly 30 years ago for astronauts. The program for the astronauts focuses on preventing hazards that could cause food-borne illnesses by applying science-based controls, from raw material to finished products.
Traditionally, industry and regulators have depended on spot checks of manufacturing conditions and random sampling of final products to ensure safe food. This approach, however, tends to be reactive, rather than preventive, and can be less efficient than the HACCP principles system.
HACCP has been endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences, the Codex Alimentarius Commission (an international food standard-setting organization), and the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods.
A number of U.S. food companies already use the system in their manufacturing processes, and it is in use in other countries, including Canada.
HACCP involves seven principles:
- Analyze hazards Potential hazards associated with a food and measures to control those hazards are identified. The hazard could be biological, such as a microbe; chemical, such as a toxin; or physical, such as ground glass or metal fragments.
- Identify critical control points These are points in a food's production — from its raw state through processing and shipping to consumption by the consumer — at which the potential hazard can be controlled or eliminated. Examples are cooking, cooling, packaging, and metal detection.
- Establish preventive measures with critical limits for each control point For a cooked food, for example, this might include setting the minimum cooking temperature and time required to ensure the elimination of any harmful microbes.
- Establish procedures to monitor the critical control points Such procedures might include determining how and by whom cooking time and temperature should be monitored.
- Establish corrective actions to be taken when monitoring shows that a critical limit has not been met — For example, reprocessing or disposing of food if the minimum cooking temperature is not met.
- Establish procedures to verify that the system is working properly — For example, testing time-and-temperature recording devices to verify that a cooking unit is working properly.
- Establish effective record keeping to document the HACCP system This would include records of hazards and their control methods, the monitoring of safety requirements and action taken to correct potential problems. Each of these principles must be backed by sound scientific knowledge: for example, published microbiological studies on time and temperature factors for controlling food-borne pathogens.