Food Safety

Food Safety and Food Microbiology

H1H Laboratory offers high quality food safety testing with minimal turnaround time and has experts who can evaluate your facility and production process for areas that may contribute to food safety problems. Working in concert with a public health consultant, qualified microbiologists, technologists and veterinarians, H1H Laboratory has the potential to help improve food safety every step along the food chain – from farm to table. This unique combination of veterinarians, public health professionals and laboratory scientists enables H1H Laboratory to serve the needs of farmers and food manufacturers in the critical area of food safety. H1H Laboratory assists establishments in ensuring food safety by:
  • Providing food testing services at affordable rates.
  • Environmental sampling and testing – including water sources, air monitoring and pre and post operational facility sanitation.
  • Assisting establishments in acquiring documentation for food safety testing for HACCP certification.


Food safety is a scientific discipline describing the handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent food-borne illness. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards.


Food safety is important as it helps to protect consumer from the risk of food borne illnesses. It also helps to prevent consumers from risks of health –related conditions such as allergy and even death.
It also protects food processing establishments from product recalls which results in financial losses due to unsafe products. Other issues due to unsafe products which can impact a business include: rejected products, possible lawsuits and business closure by the public health authorities due to reports of unsafe product sold to the general public.


Food safety can be ensured by food establishments involved in the processing of food by following the guidelines provided by local as well as international food safety directives.

These directives provide guidelines for food safety programs in food processing establishments in order to ensure food safety in food production. These include: Having a HACCP program.

Included within the HACCP program are requirements to maintain proper laboratory food testing records, quality control records, the auditing and inspection of food processing establishments and the monitoring and evaluation of Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP) , Good manufacturing practices (GMP) and Environmental Management Systems (EMS) procedures.


Food safety is very important as it ensures the health and safety of the consumers of the food produced by industrial processes. The lack of food safety procedures and programs within a food establishment can have an impact on the organization’s financial revenue as well as its future as a food establishment. Across the world statistics and research have shown that food establishments which fail to establish a food safety program or a HACCP.

• Recall of food product due to reported cases of illness due to consumption of product.
• Loss of revenue due to loss of sales and/or product recall.
• Loss of consumer confidence in product resulting in reduced sales.
• Law suits filed by consumers resulting in large pay-outs of revenues.
• Forced closure due to poor processing standards.
• Bankruptcy due to fall in sales revenue.


HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) is a system that helps food business operators look at how they handle food and introduces procedures to make sure the food produced is safe to eat.

The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system is a food safety management tool developed in the early 1970s by the food industry. Since it enhances the safety of food, it is of considerable public interest and, thus, some 20 years ago the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized HACCP as an important concept to prevent food borne disease.


The HACCP plan keeps food safe from biological, chemical and physical food safety hazards. It also reduces the risk of potential deaths and illnesses due to unsafe food consumption.


HACCP has seven principles that are defined by the ISO 22000 2005 international food safety management standard (FSMS). This standard is a complete food safety and quality management system which together with Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs) and Good manufacturing practices (GMPs) forms an organization’s Total Quality Management System (TQMS).
The seven principles of HACCP are as follows:

1. Conduct a hazard analysis: This determines the food safety hazards and identifies the preventive measures the plan can apply to control these hazards. A food safety hazard is any biological, chemical, or physical property that may cause a food to be unsafe for human consumption.

2. Identify critical control points: A critical control points (CCP) is a point, step, or procedure in a food manufacturing process at which control can be applied and, as a result, a food safety hazard can be prevented, eliminated, or reduced to an acceptable level.

3. Establish critical limits for each critical control point: A critical limit is the maximum or minimum value to which a physical, biological, or chemical hazard must be controlled at a critical control point to prevent, eliminate, or reduce to an acceptable level.

4. Monitoring activities are necessary to ensure that the process is under control at each critical control point. In the United States, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) requires that each monitoring procedure and its frequency be listed in the HACCP plan.

5. Establish corrective actions: These are actions to be taken when monitoring indicates a deviation from an established critical limit. The final rule requires a plant’s HACCP plan to identify the corrective actions to be taken if a critical limit is not met. Corrective actions are intended to ensure that no product is injurious to health or otherwise adulterated as a result of the deviation enters commerce.

6. Verification: Establish procedures for ensuring the HACCP system is working as intended. Validation ensures that the plants do what they were designed to do; that is, they are successful in ensuring the production of a safe product. Plants will be required to validate their own HACCP plans. FSIS will not approve HACCP plans in advance, but will review them for conformance with the final rule. Verification ensures the HACCP plan is adequate, that is, working as intended. Verification procedures may include such activities as review of HACCP plans, CCP records, critical limits and microbial sampling and analysis. FSIS is requiring that the HACCP plan include verification tasks to be performed by plant personnel. Verification tasks would also be performed by FSIS inspectors. Both FSIS and industry will undertake microbial testing as one of several verification activities. Verification also includes ‘validation’ – the process of finding evidence for the accuracy of the HACCP system (e.g. scientific evidence for critical limitations).

7. Establish record keeping procedures. The HACCP regulation requires that all plants maintain certain documents, including its hazard analysis and written HACCP plan, and records documenting the monitoring of critical control points, critical limits, verification activities, and the handling of processing deviations. Implementation involves monitoring, verifying, and validating of the daily work that is compliant with regulatory requirements in all stages all the time.