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The series of guidelines known as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points has for decades been one of the main food safety management systems that companies have used to ensure product safety. In a recent Rootwurks webinar, HACCP expert Kathy Knutson of Kathy Knutson Food Safety Consulting LLC and Chase Eastman, the CEO and founder of Rootwurks discussed the steps companies must take to implement a HACCP plan and how these guidelines can help create a culture of safety in the workplace. 

Here are five main takeaways from the webinar:

1. Mastering HACCP starts at the top

“Legally the person that is in charge of the facility is in charge of food safety so it really does start at the top and that person has the responsibility and accountability and there’s the legal responsibility as well. Setting the tone for food safety culture starts at the top and goes all the way down,” Knutson said.  

2. Quality assurance isn’t simply a business expense

Quality assurance measures require time and money. But these measures also save money.

The average cost of recall in the United States is $10 million so anything that it costs someone in the food industry to implement (HACCP) is just a drop in the bucket if there is a loss of control, a hazardous product,, and the company has to go through a recall. So we want to be in that mindset that we’re not spending money, we’re saving the company money,” Knutson said.

3. HACCP plans are not one size fits all

While there are specific principles that govern HACCP, the implementation of these HACCP principles depends on the unique attributes of the company in question. 

"It's absolutely critical that every facility writes their own HACCP plan,” Knutson said. 

4. You want a diversified team 

When implementing a HACCP system, it’s essential to bring in team members from across your company. 

“You want to include someone from sanitation, someone from maintenance, someone from operations, and then that quality assurance person. They each bring a different perspective. They have different expertise and all of that is needed on your HACCP plan,” Knutson said. 

5. Training is crucial

After team members undergo HACCP training, it may be natural for companies to assume they’ve covered their bases and don’t need to revisit these guidelines. According to Chase Eastman, this is false. 

“It requires reinforcement, consistent reinforcement and consistency in how your leadership expects things to be done. It’s about how you hold your organization accountable and how you empower your people and it begins and ends with training.” 

According to Knutson, while there isn’t any requirement for repeating HACCP training, “I would recommend that everyone who goes through HACCP training to go through the course again or do a refresher course every three to five years.”

In February, we debuted the Rootwurks Basic HACCP Certification Course. Engaging, interactive, and user-friendly, it is also the most affordable HACCP course recognized by the International HACCP Alliance. It is a central part of our mission of making safety training accessible to all companies no matter their budget, so that any company can build a culture of safety for their customers and employees. 

To learn more about the course, take a closer look at the Workshop here.

Also, if you missed our HACCP webinar with Kathy and Chase, you can still watch it on-demand on the Rootwurks website.

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Ben Hartman, Content Manager

Ben Hartman is a cannabis writing and marketing professional with over 15 years of experience in journalism and digital content creation. Ben was formerly the senior writer and research and analysis lead for The Cannigma.

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