Developing industry requirements, such as Food Safety Modernization Act rules, increase emphasis on contamination prevention as opposed to reaction after the fact. To address these ever increasing requirements, food and beverage companies continuously review all components of their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems to ensure their process facilities remain in compliance. Lubrication programs, and the various tasks and methods used for proper implementation, are one such component.
In general, machinery lubrication practices are considered prerequisite programs within an HACCP system. The World Health Organization defines prerequisite programs as “Practices and conditions needed prior to and during implementation of HACCP and which are essential for food safety.” According to the USDA, prerequisite programs provide support for hazards not reasonably likely to occur and justification for not adding a potential hazard to the HACCP plan, which is designed to address issues that are likely to occur.
Prerequisite programs within HACCP, such as machinery lubrication, are typically facility-wide programs, as opposed to process- or product-specific. They deal with “good housekeeping” concerns and help reduce the likelihood of certain hazards by managing specific processes. While prerequisite programs fall outside of the detailed HACCP plan, they are still part of the overall HACCP system. Besides machinery lubrication, other examples of prerequisite programs include sanitation, maintenance, and pest control.
For all prerequisite programs, the USDA requires procedures and controls documentation, as well as records and results demonstrating program effectiveness. Noncompliance exists if unsanitary conditions are created such as a food safety hazard. Repeat failures within a prerequisite program may indicate a need to add or update the process in question into the HACCP plan. Mitigating those failures can begin by identifying hazards, developing a survey, training employees, and implementing proper storage.| | | Next → | Single Page