Monday, November 26, 2012

Operational Pre Requisite Programs

According to section 7 of ISO 22000 along with identification and management of PreRequisite Programs, Operational Pre-requisite programs(oPRP) should also be managed to ensure food safety. Often oPRP can be confused with PRP's but oPRP's are mainly related to Critical Control Points-CCP's which are determined through CCP decision tree after Hazard Analysis.

In deep sense, an oPRP is defined as a a prerequisite program identified by the hazard analysis as essential in order to control the likelihood of introducing food safety hazards to and/or the contamination or proliferation of food safety hazards in the product(s) or in the processing environment. oPRP's should be identified and validated to certified with ISO 22000, FSSC 22000 etc.,

How to identify a oPRP and differentiate from a CCP?
For that we have the decision tree to identify if its the hazardous step is a CCP or an oPRP

We use the same regualar decision tree to identify a CCP where first three questions helps us to determine if its a significant hazard and the remaining two question differentiates between a CCP and an oPRP.

Q1: Based on the likelihood of occurrence and the severity of adverse health effects, is this hazard significant?
YES: This is a significant hazard. Go to Q2.
NO: This is not a significant hazard.

Q2: Will subsequent steps alone or in combination (including expected use by consumer) guarantee the removal of this significant hazard, or its reduction to an acceptable level?
YES: Identify and name subsequent step.
NO: Go to Q3.

Q3: Are control measures or practices in place at this step and do they exclude, reduce or maintain this significant hazard as necessary?
YES: Go to Q4.
NO: Modify the process or product and go to Q1

Q4: Is it necessary to establish critical limits for the control measure at this step?
YES: Go to Q5.
NO: This hazard is managed by an OPRP.

Q5: Is it necessary to monitor the control measure in such a way that action can be taken immediately when there is a loss of control?
YES: This hazard is managed by control measures at a CCP.
NO: This hazard is managed by an OPRP.

From the decision tree it must be clear that an oPRP is as important as a CCP but it doesn't have critical limits and cannot be monitored regularly. Some of the examples for oPRP's include

  • Microbiological Control
  • Control of Chemical disinfectant level in the water tanks in the process of cleaning
For simple understanding PRP-Infrastructure
and oPRP- Personal hygiene, Sanitation and Disinfection

Expert view by Hossam Zein PhD in Food Sciences: 
We manage and control the hazard using either the HACCP plan or the oPRP, if we identify the hazard to be CCP so we will control it using the HACCP plan but if we do not identify the hazard as CCP so we will control it using the oPRP. Both the HACCP plan and the oPRP have an important role in your system, the only different between them is that the oPRP have no Critical limits. We use the HACCP plan for some hazard and use the oPRP for another hazard not using both for the same hazard.

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