Edyta Margas - Articles and news items

HACCP: The rise of the prerequisites

Issue 6 2011  •  4 January 2012  •  John Holah and Edyta Margas, Campden BRI and Robert Hagburg, Benjamin Warren, Judy Fraser-Heaps and Sara Mortimore, Land O’Lakes

This article introduces concepts and ideas about the nature and potential control of microbiological cross-contamination in a food manufacturing environment. The concepts and opinions shared do not necessarily represent the policies and/or programs used by the companies represented by the authors.

Microbiological cross-contamination has been a contributing factor to several well-documented outbreaks of foodborne illness1,2. In most HACCP or other hazard analysis-based food safety systems, cross contamination is controlled and managed predominately by prerequisite programs (PRPs). PRPs can be defined as the measures that provide the basic environmental and operating conditions in a food operation that are necessary for the production of safe and wholesome foods3, such as cleaning and disinfection and personnel hygiene. The implementation of an appropriate PRP is also seen as the foundation on which a good HACCP plan is built and there are many examples of best practice to follow for each prerequisite (PR) at an international level4, via retailers requirements5 or from recognised food research bodies6-8 or trade associations9,10.

There is little information, however, on how to align the use of specific PRs to control actual routes of cross-contamination in food pro – cessing plants.

Hygienic design of novel processing equipment

Issue 5 2010  •  4 November 2010  •  Edyta Margas & John Holah, Campden BRI and Alexander Milanov & Lilia Ahrné, SIK

The hygienic design of food processing equipment is a critical factor in determining the quality and safety of foods produced. It involves the selection of suitable materials of construction, their fabrication into a functional piece of equipment, the ability of constructed equipment to produce food hygienically and the maintenance of hygienic conditions throughout the equipment’s working life. There is a significant amount of guidance and information available on the principles of hygienic design for traditional food processing equipment (from the European Hygienic Engineering Design Group; www.EHEDG.org), but the nature of NP techniques such as High Pressure Processing (HPP) and Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) may impose other additional stresses on the equipment surfaces, their construction materials and their fabrication.