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Review of the new Campden BRI HACCP A Practical Guide – fifth edition

In November Campden BRI launched their new fifth edition of Guideline 42, HACCP A Practical Guide.  I have always thought that this guidance book has been one of the leading publications on HACCP and so I was keen to find out what new elements Campden had included.

What I liked…

In my opinion, I like the way that this book is set out – it really is a practical guide, it takes you step by step through the elements of creating a HACCP plan and the way it’s structured means it’s quite easy to find what you’re looking for – allowing you to dip and in out of it as you need to.

It gives you all the background information that you need, including the benefits of HACCP and the definitions of the terms.

It then takes you through the principles of HACCP, what prerequisite programmes are and how they should be managed, to carry out a HACCP study, implement it and then maintain it.

Clearly, the major section of this book is about the details of how you carry out a HACCP study and it takes you through this methodically step by step. Each section provides you with key pieces of information to remember and provides you with examples.

The previous fourth edition was published in 2009 and so Campden felt that it was time for a new edition given the changes that have occurred in the food industry during this time, such as:

  • the horsemeat scandal, which has called for the need to have a structured approach to threat and vulnerability assessment
  • the increasing need for operational prerequisite programmes (OPRPs)
  • developments in the concepts of verification and validation

Overall these changes mean that a more ‘holistic approach’ is needed toward food safety management, incorporating techniques such as TACCP to support the core element of HACCP.

The fifth edition, states that Campden BRI are in the process of developing such a system, which I think in theory sounds great! I do worry though; by trying to incorporate too many scopes of risk assessment into one, it may make the system very complicated and difficult to manage.  I look forward to seeing what they come up with!

What I was concerned about…HACCP a practical guide

I was really interested to read about their updates around OPRPs, as this is an area which was confusing in the last edition of guideline 42.  The old publication provided a decision tree, but it doesn’t make sense to me and from talking to other technical mangers who had tried to use it, I didn’t think I was on my own!

What I thought was confusing…

Unfortunately, I don’t feel that the additional explanation that they have provided gives any more clarity to the situation.  They seem to have tried to separate PRPs and OPRPs by saying that PRPs provide a hygienic environment – which I find confusing.  Does that mean all ‘PRPs’ which do not provide a hygienic environment are OPRPs?

They have also said “some users” say OPRPs are control measures that cannot be consistently monitored. They have provided a decision tree which eludes to the fact that if you have a CCP which you cannot consistently monitor, then it is an OPRP?  I find it odd for them to say “some users” – who do they mean  and are they supporting this or not?

What I couldn’t agree with…

It would seem that Campden are supporting their theory and have gone on to provide a decision tree for it.  I don’t agree with their theory. If a hazard is significant and needs to be managed as a CCP to control food safety, how can you ‘downgrade’ it to an OPRP just because you cannot find a way of monitoring it? Surely, the reverse should be true – if it is a CCP then a monitoring activity with critical limits is necessary and a method of monitoring must be found and implemented.

What I would suggest…

In my view the difference between a PRP and an OPRP is very clear.  A PRP is a set of control measures that are generic across the whole site.  An OPRP is a control measure which sits within a PRP, but manages a specific hazard at a specific process step.  If you would like a copy of the decision tree I use to decide if a hazard is managed through a PRP control measure or an OPRP control measure, please just click the link below…

Get my FREE Operational Prerequisite Decision Tree!

In summary…

Overall I think this is a good book, but I don’t think the new elements have warranted a new edition – it’s a lot of money to pay for a new edition, if you’ve got the old one and it doesn’t really add much.  It feels slightly as if it has been re-published in order to bring in reference to Campdens new Guideline 72 – TACCP.  If you would like to see my review of the Campden TACCP guideline, take a look at my previous post – TACCP & VACCP Demystified!

I would have liked Campden to give more structured guidance on how to assess severity and likelihood to determine significance. I know they need to provide a range of general examples on how to do this, but I think it is a little too top line and would leave most people wondering which is the best approach to go for.

Producing a HACCP methodology with clear definitions and a calculation for significance is not easy and takes time.  In our HACCP documentation pack our procedure includes a best practise set method for doing this, which is proven to work.  I think most techie’s would have found Campdens ‘best practice’ view on this useful too.

I think it would have been good to understand what their views are on the FDA’s Food Safety Modernisation Act and the reference to a new type of HACCP – Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC).  They make reference to it in the preface, but no more than that.  I am currently carrying out research to get to the bottom of this – I’ll share with you what I’ve  learnt as soon as I can!

If you would like a copy of Campdens Guideline 42, HACCP a practical guide – here is a link to their website. http://www.campdenbri.co.uk/publications/pubDetails.php?pubsID=4649

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2 Comments

  • I agree with you on the issue of trying to incorporate TACCP within the HACCP risk assessment is too unwieldy. In my mind we now have 3 pillars supporting a Food Safety Management System (FSMS). First HACCP, second VACCP and third TACCP. They each need there own risk assessment as they view risk from differing angles but all go towards shoring up your FSMS.
    I also agree to an extent your view on the differences between PRPs and OPRPs. I would clarify that ‘An OPRP is a control measure which sits within a PRP, but manages a specific hazard at a specific process step.’ with so long as that hazard in that process step can still be controlled at a later stage if the OPRP fails i.e. with a CCP. Just my thoughts, good piece of clear writing though!

    • Kassy Marsh says:

      Hi Carrie,
      Thanks for your feedback – it’s always great to hear from our readers :-). Campden have said that they are working on a combined approach for a FSMS, it’ll be interesting to see what they come up with – like you’ve said HACCP and vulnerability assessments have different aims, so I think it may be difficult to combine them all without making it really difficult to actually work with. For OPRPs – I would implement a CCP type approach for each OPRP, so that there are monitoring procedures and criteria in place wherever possible – so the risk is reduced and therefore a later CCP may not be required.
      Have a lovely Christmas,
      Kassy

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