From Food Engineering Magazine: HACCP Software

In November, Food Engineering Magazine published an article looking at HACCP software called “HACCP Software: Get with the Program!” by Wayne Labs, Senior Technical Editor.


From HACCP forms generation to automated track-and-trace systems, affordable software tools make FSMA compliance easier for small and medium-sized processors, and can reduce the potential of recalls.


Under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), FDA-regulated food processors are “to comply with the requirements for hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls (HARPC).” This means facilities must evaluate hazards, identify and implement preventive controls to address hazards, verify the preventive controls are adequate to control identified hazards, take corrective action when needed and maintain a written plan and documentation.

HACCP is not necessarily without risk, nor is it a typical quality control inspection program. By definition, HARPC takes HACCP a step further, introducing a feedback loop, providing control over the entire process—much like controls theory (albeit a simple and quick analogy). HACCP software—once thought of as a way of generating forms to document a HACCP plan—has been extended by many software providers to follow the HARPC model by providing additional support for preventive controls.

Designed on the CODEX-based principles of risk assessment and the identification of controls for all hazards, Icicle software automatically generates all the forms required to meet a CODEX-based HACCP system, according to Steve Burton, CEO of Burton Software Inc. With the software, processors work with the elements with which they are familiar (e.g., products, ingredients, formulae, processes, etc.); a wizard helps them complete hazard analyses and address the issue of risk. The system then generates a set of 12 functional forms, including the HACCP plan and a change log.

“Any changes needed in formulation, ingredient packaging or equipment are easily updated and automatically changed on all forms involved,” says Greig Beilhartz, a food and safety consultant who served for 31 years as a Canadian government inspector and trainer for the CFIA. The cloud-based software supports SQF Level 3, BRC and Canada’s FSEP with full support for ISO 22000 in the offing, says Burton. The software can be an affordable solution, even for very small processors.


“The vision of Burton Software [provider of Icicle] is to make enterprise-grade technology, normally available to large companies with in-house IT staffs, server rooms and heavy-duty database systems, affordable to all food manufacturers—even very small food producers—since users only need a browser and an Internet connection,” says Burton. The system also can operate as an on-premise implementation, since some companies have expressed cloud trust concerns. “The concern is rare because cloud hosting providers’ data centers are more secure than those of most food production facilities, and the cost of deploying and maintaining an enterprise-grade system locally is simply not feasible for Icicle clients compared to the low marginal cost of a cloud-based solution,” explains Burton.

Read the whole article at Food Engineering Magazine >>>

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