A new program that certifies feed manufacturers and distributors that comply with the voluntary Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan standard is now offered by agencies in Texas and California.
The Office of the State Chemist, part of Texas AgriLife Research, and feed-control officials in California, are accredited with certifying feed operations that take part in the verification program for a voluntary HACCP plan, Dr. Tim Herrman, state chemist in College Station.
“Upon request, these firms are audited and scored to see if they meet a set of standards to receive certification,” said Herrman. “This certification program is another way of strengthening already a number of safeguards in feed manufacturing to ensure a quality, safe product is being produced consistently.”
The certification program is part of a larger plan put into place in 2007 by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Herrman said. The task force developed a model standard for adoption of voluntary safety standards by feed manufacturers that was approved by the American Feed Control board of directors, he said.
“Currently, an estimated 50% of the U.S. feed tonnage is manufactured by firms that have either begun or fully adopted HACCP as a means to assure food safety,” Herrman said. “The model standard is part of a larger document titled Verification Program for a Voluntary HACCP Plan that provides clarification on how to apply those safety principles when manufacturing feed.”
The program provides a basis upon which competent authorities can provide third-party audits “upon request” by firms that do not subscribe to commercial auditing services, Herrman said.
“The model standard represents a consensus by task force participants on how the feed industry should apply HACCP principles, validate a HACCP plan, and verify that it is being followed.”
The scoring mechanism for the HACCP audit is as follows: To pass an audit, all criteria in Part I and II, Verification Program for a Voluntary Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Plan sections 6 through 11, must receive a “pass” or complete corrective actions required within 30 days of inspection. Facilities that receive one or more fail scores will not receive a letter or certification acknowledging the establishment passed the audit.
Contact the local feed-control service or visit their website to receive an application for an audit and to learn more about the potential legal implications of non-compliance.
More information about Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point training for feed industries is also available at http://www.feedhaccp.org/.