Accuracy and understanding are two key principles when establishing a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) program for the feed industry that was shared with participants of the HACCP Feed short course held Nov. 7-10.
The course, held at the Kansas State University International Grains ProgramConference Center hosted 27 participants from 14 states and India, was held collaboratively with American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA).
Throughout the week, class members studied feed-industry regulations, learned about the pre-requisites of a HACCP program and were trained in the proper identification of biological, physical and chemical hazards.
In addition, participants worked through the seven HACCP principles, which are to analyze hazards, identify critical control points, establish critical limits, establish monitor procedures, establish corrective actions, establish verification procedures and establish record-keeping procedures.
“The course is designed to walk people through the principles of HACCP, and how to apply those principles,” says Leland McKinney, grain science associate professor and course manager.
“Participants gain an understanding of how to develop a HACCP plan that is specific to their facility.”
McKinney was joined in instructing the course by Bhadriraju Subramanyam, grain science professor; Liz Boyle, animal science professor; Keith Epperson, AFIA vice president of manufacturing and training, Arlington, Va.; Matt Frederking, director of regulatory affairs and operations, Ralco Nutrition, Inc., Marshall, Minn.; and David Fairfield, director of feed services, National Grain and Feed Association, Atlantic, Iowa.
For one participant the opportunity to break down and analyze each step of the program allows her to understand how she can make improvements.
“I wanted to validate the HACCP plan that we already had developed for completeness and accuracy by learning what needs to be in a HACCP plan and how to maintain it,” says Vonnie Shepherd, a senior quality assurance manager, AFB International, St. Charles, Mo.
“I learned which details in our plan that were not necessary and which areas that can be expanded.”
Shepherd recognizes why it is important to stay on top of continuing to train and educate oneself on HACCP programs.
“The requirements are always changing.
"We live in a heavily regulated industry and need to continuously educate ourselves on what the next requirements are going to be in order to stay in compliance,” Shepherd says.
“Having situations to share with colleges in the same industry brings invaluable information together and allows us to understand that there are many different ways to developing and implementing a plan.”
Charles Starkey, director of technical services at American Proteins, Inc. agrees.
“From regulations to new technologies, everything is constantly changing, so if you do not keep up then you will fall behind,” Starkey says.
“I am going to go back to my company and share the knowledge I gained of how to look at our production in a better manner to increase quality and safety of our products.”
Shepherd adds, “I am going to share the knowledge of how other companies view food safety and risks associated with the manufacturing environment and the countermeasures that they are working towards putting in place to assure 100 percent compliance to new regulations.
"I look forward to revamping our HACCP plan so meets all requirements and is designed to be reviewed in a systematic approach to keep updated and current.”
This is just one example of the many partnership trainings offered through IGP.
In addition, IGP offers standard short courses in grain marketing and risk management, flour milling, and grain processing, and feed manufacturing and grain marketing.