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Zentralbl Hyg Umweltmed. 1996 Dec;199(2-4):119-30.

[Risk assessment and risk management according to the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) concept: a concept for safe foods].

[Article in German]

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Institut für Lebensmittelhygiene, Universität Zürich.


The volume of official hygiene regulations for food processing establishments has been growing continuously over the past 20 to 30 years. This led to a decrease in hygiene risk awareness in food processing establishments which was partly replaced by a strong reliance on legislative measures in food hygiene. After experiences in industrialized nations had shown that even numerous and detailed hygiene regulations could not prevent the increase of infections and intoxications of consumers by food products, new solutions had to be found. On the one hand, the implementation of intensified control measures by the producers themselves is required. Such a control much then be "controlled" by the state authorities. On the other hand, the so-called HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) system has been introduced as a new quality assurance principle for the avoidance of health hazards. This concept was developed in the 1960s in the United States of America in order to produce safe foods for the space programme. For the production of a particular food according to the HACCP system informations on hazards and situations leading to their presence are collected and evaluated in order to decide which are significant for food safety and therefore should be addressed in the HACCP plan. According to this analysis the necessary preventive measures which lead to the prevention, elimination or reduction to an acceptable level of identified health hazards have to be defined. All steps of food processing have to be included in the HACCP system. Raw materials, storage of foods, types of distribution and the intended usage of the final product by the consumer have to be considered in this system. However, the introduction of the HACCP system into European hygiene regulations does not constitute an entirely new development. It can rather be regarded as a renaissance of traditional scientific concepts. This is demonstrated by the example of drinking milk processing as it was practised sixty years ago.

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