AN EXAMPLE OF HACCP CONCEPT IN PRIMARY AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION


INTRODUCTION

HACCP concept was first applied in the United States as one to ensure hygienic and technological food safety dedicated to astronauts. (14th )   The concept is, then accepted by Health World Organization, the Organization for Food and the European Union. HACCP is applied in thousands of organizations that produce food and medicines. It is proved to be effective in providing safety of food products and medicines representing an integral part of ISO 22000 standards the concept of HACCP includes requirements that every organization must meet, systematically checked internally and externally. (14th ) It is supported by the good manufacturing practice (GMP) and directives, regulations, instructions. Based on the HACCP concept, it establishes documented procedures, instructions, records. To apply HACCP concept as effective, it is necessary to take and store documents, which represent the only valid proof that the requirements are fully implemented. Documentation represents the written evidence of product conformity, proof of control of production, and it is used to track trends and protect producers in case of user complaints. Documentation is clearly defining the responsibilities, training employees, providing systematic errors and preventing their recurrence.

HACCP concept

HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) is a food safety system based on the analysis and control of potential biological / microbiological, chemical and physical hazards that raw materials are exposed to, potential dangers in handling, production, distribution and consumption of the final product.  It is founded on him Regulation of the European Union as follows:
• Council Directive 93/43/EEC;
• Alinorm 93/13A, Annex II;
• Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004;
• Regulation (EC) No. 882/2004;
• Directive 854/2004.
HACCP system has been adapted to all types of food products and all types of production and handling of food. It is based on the following principles:

1.       Hazard Analysis

2.       Identification of critical control points – CPP

3.       Identifying critical limits for each of CPP

4.       Establishing a system for each CPP monitoring

5.       Determine corrective action

6.       Verification

7.       Establishment of documentation.

The main characteristics of the HACCP concept are: scientific base, inhibition, application of risk assessment as a tool, a systematic, documented and verifiable. HACCP concept is able to accept changes such as improving production equipment, production process and technical development (Sevic, 2005).
Advantages of HACCP concept are:
• effective and efficient work of the company
• increase the competitiveness of companies in the world market
• removing barriers to international trade
• reducing the number of confirmation batch, and
• increase profits.
Application of the HACCP concept is widespread in developed economies, while in the countries of European Union is required by Council Directive 93/43/EEC. EU food imports from countries that are not its members, is caused by applying the HACCP concept.
In Serbia, the Law on Veterinary Medicine („Official Gazette RS, no. 91/2005) and Law on Food Safety (“ Official Gazette. Gazette RS, no. 41/2009) require the application of the HACCP concept. Recognizing the strategic importance of introducing the HACCP concept to the overall competitiveness of our economy, support of the Serbian government enterprises that wish to introduce HACCP is not missed. Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency during 2006.has provided grants as financial assistance to local business companies for the activity of introducing HACCP concept. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, more than 800 companies applied for certification, and about 450 received the HACCP certificate.

Introduction of the HACCP concept in primary agricultural production

HACCP concept can be introduced with the help of external collaborators, i.e. consultants, and can be implemented by internal experts with a critical role of the management in the organization. Without commitment and support of responsible managers HACCP can not even be applied or used. Although the entities involved in primary food production, are not mandatory, according to the Law on Food Safety, to introduce and apply the HACCP concept, the management of the company „A“ in Vojvodina think that its application will contribute to competitiveness in domestic, and in the future,  international market. After making an official decision on the introduction of this concept the HACCP team is formed, whose members were experts in the relevant field of primary plant production. In agricultural crop production of the HACCP team agronomist must be represented, who track the production and all stages of growing a particular crop culture. Protective agronomist, which is responsible for the implementation of appropriate agro-technical measures (Mijajlović et al., 2009) also, has to be represented. For help in introducing the concept, a team of consultants must be involved.

The economic company „A“ has introduced HACCP concept for the following crops: corn, corn Mercantile, sugar beet, and winter barley, consume peas, cucumber pickles, soy, onion and carrot. Since the beginning of the introduction to the moment of application for certification, required documentation was create created, according to the HACCP concept, as in the stage of formulating procedures, instructions and forms, as well as during regular, daily monitoring of production. It was documented through the records.
HACCP documentation includes, above all, the HACCP system rules as the highest document, as it is unifying the form of all activities related to the introduction of the HACCP concept.

The system and production procedures are organized. Manufacturing procedures are relating to all stages of production of all these cultures. The system procedures are:
• Procedures for managing documents and records;
• the procedure for training;
• the procedure for the implementation of sanitary-hygienic measures;
• the procedure for the preparation of HACCP plans;
• the procedure for machinery and maintenance;
• the procedure for preventive measures;
• Procedures for monitoring;
• the procedure for corrective measures;
• the procedure for verification.

All procedures were done in accordance with the procedures for managing documents and records. Manufacturing procedures include: subject, the area of application, the connection with other document, terms and definitions, responsibilities, procedures and flow attachment. As part of the production procedures required it is, also, included: risk analysis and critical control points, the determination and validation of critical limits, production flow chart, identifying the product, HACCP plan.

Hazard Analysis is based on the first and second principles of the HACCP concept encompassing all stages of production, biological, chemical and physical risks, risk analysis, control measures and critical control points. All hazards are listed, whose appearance could be expected at any stage of production and transport (product is not stored in the company, but the bulk, directly from the field, is transported to the processing industry). On the basis of risk analysis and decision tree, critical control points were determined. For each CCP it is provided a suitable control measures to be carried out ensuring configuration control process and preventing the break of critical limits.

The following critical points were determined: CPP1 – at the stage of crop care is possible to detect sickness due to the action of the skin disease viruses, pathogenic bacteria and pathogenic fungi; CPP2 – at the stage of crop care, biological risks is represented in the appearance of weeds and CPP3 – at the stage of harvesting bad weather conditions and unprepared machinery are possible.

Determination and validation of critical limits include limits for critical control points established and defined in accordance with applicable references (regulations, etc.).

Diagram flow of production is clear, schematic view of a particular culture of production flow. It gradually displays all operations during all phases of the production in accordance with relevant documents, based on the data phase, or based on the indication of the persons responsible for certain production operations. For the purpose of illustration a flow chart of sweet corn production is shown.

Identification of the product is very important document, because it contains all relevant information about the culture as follows: variety, serial number of parties seeds, growing year, area, growers, village, municipality, cadastre, sowing date, harvesting date, sweet corn produced features and purpose.

HACCP plan summary represents all relevant data of importance in the production of sweet corn, and based on the seven HACCP principles. According to the principle 1 it shows the risks, and the way how to prevent occurrence of conflicts , on the basis of principle 2 the critical  control points are given , based on the principle 3 the critical limits are shown , based on principle 4 the monitoring of critical control points (what, where, how, where, who), is defined, according to the principle 5 – ways to avoid the above conflict are presented, the principle 6 is giving the basis for verification and on the basis of 7th principle all the needed / used records are listed

Verification – Evaluation of the system in terms of methods, procedures, tests, controls which confirm that the system operates in accordance with HACCP plan represents a very important phase of implementation of the HACCP concept. The frequency of verification is determined depending on the need to verify the effectiveness of the HACCP concept to implementation. Verification includes: overview of the HACCP program and all records, review of possible deviations from optimal production, removal of non conformity product testing and certification that the CCP under control, that is below the critical limit. After the verification of Company „A“ minor deviations were found in the application procedures for the production of sweet corn, which was immediately removed and documented in recordings.

HACCP certificate by independent certification company accredited for that purpose by the Accreditation Body of Serbia-ATS and the European Cooperation for Accreditation-EA. The resulting certificate is valid for 3 years from the date of issuance. The duration of the annual certificate required supervisory checks. Recertification represents detailed review of documentation and evaluation of introduced and applied HACCP concept.

The introduction of the program entails certain costs, which is due to its importance quickly returned. If these costs are followed by some help from outside, such as budgets, grants, etc., then the user of the program must be introduced. Without that assistance, the burden falls on the user. Company „A“ in the process of introducing HACCP program, among others, has filed about 500 thousand dinars for the engagement of consultants from the side (the Institute) and about 200 thousand for the certification program, conducted by authorized organizations. Checks that are conducted twice a year cost about 50 thousand dinars per check. It is important to emphasize that in this enterprise, the company „A“ had substantial financial support from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management in the amount of 562 thousand dinars, which covers expenses for consulting services and certification programs at a height of about 80%. So, this company has significantly relieved their resources by introducing the program, and providing market share with better positioning.

As between the introduction and implementation a bit of time elapsed, it is not possible to overview tangible results of its application. However, this company expects that the introduction of the program will be provided along with its further development, through increased production, which will reduce the individual costs, increasing competitiveness, increasing sales in the domestic, and prospects on the international market. This will enable further investment to improve production and professional qualifications of personnel employed, increasing labor productivity and significant economic benefits.

CONCLUSION
The most important aspects in the production and distribution of food are its quality and safety. The responsibility of each manufacturer is to provide customers with quality food inherited with nutritional values and organoleptic characteristics, but also followed with the proper hygienic and healthy food. HACCP is an integrated system of food safety control in all stages of its production and distribution, and is based on preventive approach, which contributes reducing the risk to public health. Implementing this program requires specific investments, which in the course of the application are quickly compensated.
HACCP concept has been successfully implemented and certified in „An“ in Vojvodina, whose primary business is vegetable production. It is applied to crops: maize corn, mercantile corn, sugar beet, winter barley, consumer peas, cucumber pickles, soy, onions and carrots.

Primary Production has a spatial and temporal constraints and characteristics in terms of monitoring and controlling the manufacturing process. All of the factors and participants in this process must be engaged in terms of developing awareness of the importance of monitoring and documenting all activities, which should lead to a safe product.
The main problem during the implementation of this concept is the excess of the agreed terms of making certain documents, the absence of all members of the HACCP team, and later employee, on mandatory training, but the phenomenon is justified by the obligations of individuals in the seasonal production.

REFERENCES
1. Alinorm 93/13A, Annex II, 7 July 1993

2. Council Directive 93/43/EEC5th

3 . Directive 854/2004, Official Journal of the European Union 2005, L 338, p. 27th
4.Jovanović Larisa, Mikulec Dragana Pesic, Pavlovic I., Application of HACCP in the production and distribution of food, scientific society for the protection of the environment Ecologica Serbia, Zemun, 2007.
5. Kanački Z., Mirjana Savic, Kanački Lidia, Environmental protection system management and control, announced at the Regional Conference EnE06 „Environment for Europe“, Belgrade, 5-7. June 2006, Economics, YUISSN 0350-137X, UDC: 338 (491.1), 3-4, 68-74, Nis, 2007.

6. Mijajlović Nada , Mirjana Savić, Ljubo Vračar : „Setting up the HACCP system in primary production“ Contemporary Agriculture/Savremena poljoprivreda, Faculty of Agriculture, Novi Sad, Vol. 58, No. 3-4, 2009, UDC: 63(479.1) (051)-„540.2;  ISSN 0350-1205; UDC: 338.43:338.3; p. 143-149,

7. Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 of the European Parliament and the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs. Official Journal L 139, 30 April 2004.
8. Regulation (EC) No. 882/2004 of the European Parliament and the Council on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules. Official Journal L 165, 30 April 2004.
9. Savić Mirjana, Popović Vesna, B. Katic, EU legislation for conformity assessment of products in terms of safety management and quality of food, economics, 5-6, 70-81, Nis, 2006.

10. Savic, Z. Kanački, Mijajlović Nada, Quality and Food Safety, Proceedings of the International Conferenta „Dezvoltarea complex spatiului rural Marketingul you procesarea produselor agricole, Vol. II, 189-197, 2006, Bucharest.
11. Ševic D., Radlovački V, Kamberović, B., HACCP, Research and Technology Center, Novi Sad, 2005.

12. The law on food safety (Official Gazette. Gazette RS, no. 41/2009)

13. The Veterinary Law (Official Gazette. Gazette RS, no. 91/2005)

14. (www.saferpak.com/iso22000_articles/surak_paper.pdf)

Autori: Mirjana Savić, Branko Katić, Nada Mijajlović

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