HACCP software enables complete cycle control, says NWA
Northwest Analytical (NWA) said that its new eHACCP programme, which is now being released onto the European market, expands on its established NWA Quality Information System (QIS) by encompassing compliant data collation, secure electronic signatures as well as management and reporting capabilities.
HACCP is a food safety management system designed to ensure the safe production and packaging of food.
The HACCP process provides a systematic and effective method to analyze a process, and identifies potential biological, chemical and physical hazards that can occur in food. In addition, HACCP requires the development of strategies to prevent the inclusion or reduction of these hazards to an acceptable level in the food.
Jeffery Cawley, vice president of marketing development at NWA, said that while there are categories of manufacturing information management systems that supply part of the functionality required, until now there has not been a commercial product that manages the complete HACCP operational cycle.
He told FoodProductionDaily.com that the eHACCP system also includes consultation on the process of converting from a paper-based to a paperless system, with, he claims, 90 per cent of food processing facilities still running paper-based HACCP operational programmes.
Food industry partnership
The development of the eHACCP was informed by collaboration with leading food manufacturers, continued Cawley.
“Food processors have been using various NWA Quality components for the past several years for quality control and compliance. This includes the application of the NWA Quality Monitor for controlling workflow and collecting data for both food quality and food safety parameters.
“With recent expansions to the underlying NWA QIS, it became reasonable to meet HACCP requirements with a few extensions. We were able to identify these as a result of our long term food industry customer relationships and professional involvement with the food industry,” he explained.
According to Cawley, the new software package improves HACCP compliance and reporting through the elimination of transcription errors, better data handling and retrieval as well as alerts based on statistical process control (SPC) trends to indicate process deterioration.
Extended reporting templates to meet HACCP based requirements are also included, he added.
“With no manual data handling, analysis and reporting, our quality information system (QIS) customers typically report being able to reallocate one to two professionals to more productive process management and improvement operations, as a result of installing the eHACCP system,” said Cawley.
NWA said that it teamed up with leading food safety expert, Dr John Surak, to develop a conversion plan that includes the training, validation and verification steps need to properly implement the system:
“These steps are critical to assure regulatory agencies, customers and third party auditors that eHACCP is an effective food safety system.”