By Charles Yoe, Ph.D., and Jurgen G. Schwarz, Ph.D.
Food protection is the integration of food quality, food safety and food defense concerns into a single unified strategic
and operational action plan.1 It keeps
businesses and their customers safe
sion of HACCP and an efficient step toward a more comprehensive approach to
food protection. The general concept of
HACCDP is presented in Figure 1.
Food manufacturers and processors
around the world have embraced the
HACCP process as an essential part of
their food safety strategy. The scientific
basis of the HACCP system has had
beneficial effects on food quality as well.
Figure 1 shows HACCP as an important
part of a firm’s food safety and quality
strategy. Less common, but growing in
importance, is a food defense plan. A
vulnerability assessment is an important
part of a food defense plan.
The lower part of Figure 1 shows that
a HACCDP system simply combines
the vulnerability assessment and the
HACCP plan. This article proposes a
simple modification of the HACCP
process that expands it to include food
defense by building on a proven successful approach to food safety.
from contamination of food products.
The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system is a
prevention-based safety program that identifies and monitors hazards
associated with food production before they happen. It is the cornerstone of many businesses’ food safety plans. An overview of the history of HACCP has recently been published in this magazine. 2
Food defense planning has received increased attention in the U.S. since the
events of 9/11. The melamine contamination problem in China, as well as the
Salmonella contamination at Peanut Corporation of America, although not strictly intentional contaminations, have revealed to the world the nature and extent of our
mutual vulnerabilities to intentional contamination of our food supplies.
If firms are to address both unintentional and intentional contamination of
their food products, it makes sense to do this in the most efficient manner. Building on and extending
the existing HACCP
system is the most efficient way to provide
Analysis Critical Control and Defense Points,
is proposed as an exten- Figure 1: Combining HACCP and Food Defense into HACCDP.
HACCP and Small Businesses
The HACCP process has been
proven effective as a food safety measure. 3 It is a systematic approach designed
to prevent the unintentional contamination of food. The same approach can be
taken to analyze a process from the
point of view of intentional contamination. Rather than having separate plans
for food safety and for food defense,
one plan that addresses the CCPs for
both safety and defense issues is easier
to manage and implement. This is illustrated in the example provided below.
The University of California at Davis
Sea Grant Extension Service has developed a number of HACCP examples. 4 A
process flow diagram for making a tuna
sandwich is presented to illustrate the
basic ideas of the proposed HACCDP
process (Figure 2). Steps 4 and 5 were
identified as CCPs for food safety.
Food Defense Planning Tasks
The basic tasks in developing a food
defense plan are summarized below.
Online courses providing detailed support to small businesses for performing