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7 Stages of Quality Control Checks for

Meat and Poultry


Products of meat and poultry have often been connected to the occurrence of foodborne illnesses.
These illnesses can be reduced by implementing the HACCP concept (Hazard Analysis Critical
Control Point). However, the FSIS has the overall oversight and authority for quality control checks
in meat and poultry products that are intended for commercial distribution. Its main responsibility
is to ensure that there is a wholesome production of meat and poultry products.

Therefore, all businesses that produce meat and poultry that is federally inspected should design
and operate HACCP guidelines. The systems arising from these guidelines should be able to
conduct scientific process controls that can be approved to effectively eliminate, reduce, or prevent
food safety hazards.

The Seven HACCP Quality Control Checks for


Meat and Poultry
1. Conducting a Hazard Analysis
A hazard is any chemical, biological, or physical cause that is likely to cause injuries or illness
when not well controlled. This quality control check is important because it helps in developing
hazards that may cause illness or harm when not controlled effectively. In the HACCP plan, it is
important to consider the raw materials and other ingredients, storage and distribution, and use by
a consumer.

The potential hazards are evaluated depending on their severity and their likely outcome. Severity
considerations including impact, magnitude, and duration of injury or illness can help in
understanding the health hazards to the public.

2. Pinpoint Critical Control Points


A CCP is important in eliminating or preventing food safety hazards. Potential hazards that can
cause injury or illnesses if control is absent should be addressed by determining the CCPs. The
information that is developed in the hazard analysis will be used by the HACCP team to identify
CCPs in the process.

Some examples of CCPs include chilling, thermal processing, testing for chemical residues, testing
products for contaminants, and product formulation. CCPs should be developed and also
documented carefully. Additionally, they should be used for product safety purposes.

3.Establishing Critical Limits


When developing HACCP quality control checks, the next step involves establishing critical limits
for all control points. The critical limits are arguments that help determine whether a control
measure of the CCP is out of control.
The NACMCF (National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods) defines a
critical limit as a maximum or minimum value where chemical, biological, or physical parameters
can be controlled to reduce, prevent, or eliminate the occurrence of food safety hazards.

4.Establish Critical Control Point Monitoring Procedures


After CL is set for each and every CCP in the HACCP development plan, there are certain
procedures that should be established to monitor CCPs and to help in determining whether critical
limits are being met. Monitoring should assess whether the CCP is still under control and to provide
a record that can be used in future.

Purpose of monitoring

 Track control of the entire process


 To identify when deviation occurs, and when there is loss of control
 To provide a document for verification purposes

5.Establishing Corrective Actions


Corrective action should be determined for each CCP in cases where the CL hasn’t been met.
Corrective actions used often depend on the type of process and type of food produced. In case
there is any deviation from the CL, corrective action is required to prevent any hazardous food
materials from being distributed to consumers.

Examples of Corrective Actions

 Detecting and removing the cause of deviation


 Keeping the CCP under control after taking the corrective action
 Instituting measures that prevent recurrence
 Making sure the affected produce isn’t shipped to consumers

6.Establishing Recordkeeping Procedures


When coming up with an HACCP plan, a firm should ensure that its system is effective in
recordkeeping. This is because records are written evidence of the HACCP system. All the
measurements and corrective actions that are taken should also be documented and filed.

These records can help to trace the history of the production of the finished product. In case there
are any questions, the records can be used to determine whether the end product was safe for
consumption.

7.Verification Procedures
HACCP systems of meat and poultry businesses should be systematically verified. There are four
main verification principles used to verify HACCP systems as stated by the NACMCF. The
verification process ensures that HACCP plans are implemented as planned. This process also
confirms that the critical control points are accurate.