Is an online HACCP certification timely for food industry people during the Covid pandemic?

Food worker doing online HACCP training / food safety training

Food worker doing online HACCP training / food safety training

Online HACCP certification

Questions about HACCP training and certification

HACCP certificate of completion

HACCP certificate of completion

Q & A concerning online training of the Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) system and certification during the Covid Pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed education forever.”

— Cathy Li

HAWKESBURY, ON, CANADA, October 19, 2021 / — In many aspects, the current Covid pandemic restrictions for in-person gatherings have made online training necessary to acquire and maintain high levels of staff training in the food industry. In addition, effective monitoring of food from the time received until it gets to the customer has seen an exponential increase in inquiries from food establishments to ensure safe food service.

What exactly is the HACCP system & certification? HACCP is an acronym for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (Pronounced “HA Sip”). HACCP is an internationally recognized and standardized system that the food industry has adopted for safeguarding a company’s food product for public consumption. More specifically, the HACCP system aspires to conduct a hazard analysis to identify potential food contamination risks (physical, biological, or chemical), to take steps to control these food contamination risks, to establish critical limits to keep food safe, to monitor these critical points, to take corrective steps and finally to verify that the system is working through accurate record-keeping of information. The HACCP system does this to reduce overall food-related risks to the public, which ultimately saves a business from the financial burden of a food recall and the impending loss of a quality reputation.

What is HACCP training and certification? It’s the act of someone trained on HACCP following guidelines set up by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) in the Codex Alimentarius. This information is accessible for anyone involved directly or indirectly in the food industry.

What does a HACCP Certificate allow one to do? It permits an individual to head up a HACCP team, create HACCP documents and sign HACCP documents.

If one is certified, does that mean that their facility is certified? No. In order for a site to be HACCP certified, a HACCP-trained and certified individual would create the HACCP documentation and HACCP plan for their particular site and have it audited by an accrediting body.

Do HACCP training certificates expire? The short answer is no; they do not expire; however, there are several compelling reasons to be actively recertified. To list a few: Auditor, local, state, or provincial government agency, insurance provider, GFSI scheme, etc. may be requiring recertification every X number of years.

Does a food worker need to be HACCP certified? If a facility is either certified or in the process of becoming certified by the USDA, FDA, etc. and one wishes to lead or be involved with the HACCP team and HACCP monitoring activities, then yes. Meanwhile, other compelling reasons are that it may help one’s objective and may be required by a client, insurance company, auditor, GFSI scheme, etc.

Will one make more money being HACCP certified? Yes. asked 1,059 job seekers about their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Certification (HACCP) Certification:
• 55% of job seekers said “required for my current job” was the biggest reason for earning their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Certification (HACCP) Certification
• 56% said earning their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Certification (HACCP) helped them make more money in their current employment.
• 51% said earning their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Certification (HACCP) Certification enabled them get employment
• 88% said they would recommend a family member or friend earn their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points
Certification (HACCP) Certification

The takeaway from this information is that before engaging a HACCP training solution be sure that:
1. Your HACCP instructor is an accredited HACCP instructor.
2. The training content is recognized and used extensively within your country.
3. The HACCP training is a minimum of 16 hours or 2 days in length
4. That the content is examinable.

If one plans on working in the food industry do consider becoming HACCP certified. You’ll be a much more inviting candidate for hire. If you are already working in the food industry then this will give you a competitive advantage for promotions and raises.

HACCP Training Requirement References

According to the PrimusGFS V.3.0 Questions and Expectations: At least one member of the HACCP team, should have a certificate of a formal HACCP training from a recognized organization, institution, or trainer with a minimum duration of 2 days or 16 hours, taken within the last 5 years. The rest of the team should have at least internal training to ensure they are knowledgeable of the HACCP principles. These training sessions should be documented.

According to the SQF Code, edition 8: Training that meets the guidelines outlined in the Food and Agriculture Organization’s CODEX Alimentarius Commission. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) System and Guidelines for its Application – Annex to CAC/RCP 1 – 1969, Rev. 4-2003), – “A system, which identifies, evaluates and controls hazards which are significant for food safety.” And this training shall be:

1. Recognized as a HACCP training course used extensively in a country.
2. Administered and delivered by an institution recognized as a food safety training center of excellence.
3. A minimum of two days (16 hours) in duration, or equivalent.
4. The acquired knowledge of the candidate shall be assessed as part of the training program.

According to the USDA / FSIS Guidebook for the Preparation of HACCP Plans: The individual performing the functions listed in paragraph (a) of this section shall have successfully completed a course of instruction in the application of the seven HACCP principles to meat or poultry product processing, including a segment on the development of a HACCP plan for a specific product and on record review. 9 CFR 417.7(B).

Stephen Sockett
+1 866-488-1410
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