Binder for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points: Food Safety Plan
Today I met with the food safety specialist from the Vermont Department of Agriculture, Food and Markets to go over the final parts of our HACCP plan. She actually came out here to the butcher shop for our meeting which was very helpful. It turns out she grew up in our town not far from us. It’s a small world, especially in a wonderfully small state like Vermont!
She was very pleased with the butcher shop. She liked how cleanable the surfaces were with the coatings and smooth coving shapes and loved the finishing touches like the stencils, brick work and such. It’s always fun showing off our years of effort and getting back such good feedback.
We went over the HACCP plan, SSOPs, SOPs, GMPs, forms and other paperwork. There were a few minor changes but she said we’re almost there. I just finished entering the edits. Tomorrow after a reread I email her what is hopefully the final revisions so we might have our grant of inspection and final licenses as early as next week – Very exciting!
This means that next week, October 7th, we would take a pig to Adams Farm Slaughterhouse and then the carcass would come back on October 14th for us to cut here under our first day of inspection. We have done three half pigs as custom exempt to wet run the butcher shop. Custom Exempt is for cutting of meat for an individual where the pig was slaughtered under inspection but can’t be resold as cuts so it gets marked “Not For Sale”.
My next step will be writing the HACCP plan for the ground pork which will then let me do the label submissions for our sausages as well. This should go relatively quickly now that I’ve done the foundation prerequisites and first HACCP plan for “Raw Not Ground”.
Once licensed we’ll begin our 90-day period of validation where we prove that our HACCP plan works, that we’re following the SSOPs, SOPs, GMPs and everything is functioning smoothly. During this time we’ll be able to cut our pork from our pigs for sales under state inspection. This means I will soon start scheduling CSA Pre-Buy pigs and Kickstarter packages for those people who can pickup here at the farm or meet us along our delivery route in Vermont.
The next step will be applying for our federal grant of inspection and USDA licensing – sometime in mid-winter of 2016. In Vermont the same department who handles the state inspection also handles the federal level inspection so that should help to ease the transition from one level to the other as we ramp up to being able to deliver interstate.
So what are all those funky acronyms?
GMP: Good Manufacturing Practices
e.g., washing your hands, maintaining hygiene, proper attire, no eating during work…
SOP: Standard Operating Procedures
e.g., Pest control, receiving, storage, refrigeration, equipment logging, thermometer calibration, lot coding…
SSOP: Sanitary Standard Operating Procedures
e.g., Pre-operational inspection, operational inspection, pre-operational sanitization, post-operational cleaning, maintenance, sanitizers, corrective actions, disposal of inedible product, distribution control
Recall Plan: What we would do step-by-step in the event of a recall.
HACCP/PR: Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points / Pathogen Reduction
e.g., HACCP Team, product description, product ingredients (pork), product flow chart, hazard analysis worksheet (pork raw not ground), critical control worksheet, scientific verification, monitoring, key terminology, corrective action log, reassessment log, equipment log, receiving non-meat log, receiving meat log, cold storage log, pre-operational log, process CCP log, operational log, thermometer calibration log, pest control log, citations and copies of all scientific and regulatory reference documents.
Also in the HACCP binder are all the documentation for our labels, protocols, permits and assurance letters from various state agencies that our water supply is good, our septic is installed and working, our composting activity is proper, etc. All neatly arranged in a three ring binder for ease of access.
Put together these are the food sanitation plan that makes it so the products we produce are safe to eat. This document will get reassessed and revised as we use it over the years. As the head of meat inspection said to me, “It’s a living document.”
Outdoors: 54°F/39°F 2″ Rain
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/60°F
Daily Spark: “I really didn’t say everything I said.” -Yogi Berra