With the shutdown in 2020, came the canceling of many in-person trainings. One training regularly held in the Biloxi area that was canceled for the remainder of 2020 was Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) training. Per the Code of Federal Regulations, HACCP training is a requirement for businesses commercially processing seafood (21 CFR 123.10). The basic HACCP course is normally a two-and-a-half-day training workshop designed to equip processors on creating a food safety system that meets all regulatory requirements. Luckily for business owners, this required training is coming back to the coast and will be available in June.
Most of us don’t consider all the regulatory requirements involved when purchasing a product but some products have an inherent risk associated with them that need to be controlled to ensure you, the consumer, purchase safe food. As consumers, we want to purchase safe, wholesome food for our families. So how does a HACCP class for seafood processors affect the safety of the food that I serve my family?
To answer this, let’s first take a look at the history of HACCP. Believe it or not, HACCP was born out of the need to provide astronauts with safe food while in outer space. In the 1960s, Scientists with NASA realized the food going into space needed to be of the safest quality because astronauts can’t just hop on HWY 49 and run down to Memorial. So, to ensure the safety of the food, scientists began testing the food, however, this came with a problem. They tested all of the food so they didn’t have any food left to send with the astronauts. Back to the drawing board they went. Scientists at NASA then reached out to Pillsbury (yep, the canned pop biscuit guys we all love) and asked them for help. Through this collaboration, they came up with a system to identify all the things that could go wrong with the food and then a system to prevent those things from happening. For example, some fish will produce a chemical called histamine when not adequately iced, which could cause an allergic-type of reaction to the consumer if ingested. Using this example, one would first identify the potential hazard and then develop a system to prevent it. In this case, you could ensure the fish is always kept cold. This is an extremely simplistic example, but essentially, they designed a system to prevent hazards that could make the astronauts sick.
Fast forward several years and in 1997, HACCP was adopted for seafood products, making it a requirement. In 2011, President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act, which required all food processors to have a preventative food safety system (like HACCP). Next time you go to the grocery store, know that ahead of that product making its way to your cart was an astronaut enjoying safe food and a business owner analyzing all the things that could make you sick and taking steps to prevent them. A business owner that needed HACCP training to ensure that you get the safest food possible for your table.
HACCP training will be held in person from June 28-30 in Gulfport. For more information or to register, please click here.