Critical limit

Bacterial pathogens (nonsporulating) Metal fragments Bacterial pathogens

Excessive nitrite

Bacterial pathogens

Food allergens



Metal detector Drying oven

Curing room/brining

Acidification step



Metal fragments >0.5 mm

Aw < 0.85 for controlling growth in dried food products Maximum 200 ppm sodium nitrite in finished product Maximum pH of 4.6 to control Clostridium botulinum in acidified food Label that is legible and contains a listing of correct ingredients Maximum of 25 ppm histamine levels in evaluation of tuna for histamine3

Aw, water activity; CCP, critical control point.

aRegulatory action level is 50 ppm, but histamine levels may increase during processing. Therefore industry may want to set lower histamine critical limits at receiving.

Table 19

Critical Limits Versus Operating Limits

Process Critical limit Operating limit

Table 19

Critical Limits Versus Operating Limits

Process Critical limit Operating limit


pH 4.6

pH 4.3


0.84 Aw

0.80 Aw

Hot fill




2 cm

2.5 cm

Aw, water activity

Aw, water activity

3.6.6. Who Will Monitor?

Individuals assigned to monitor CCPs may include:

• Equipment operators.

• Maintenance personnel.

• Quality assurance personnel.

Once assigned, the individual responsible for monitoring a CCP must:

• Be adequately trained in the CCP monitoring techniques.

• Fully understand the importance of CCP monitoring.

• Have ready access (be close) to the monitoring activity.

• Accurately report each monitoring activity.

• Have the authority to take appropriate action as defined in the HACCP plan.

• Immediately report critical limit deviation.

It is important that the responsible individual report all unusual occurrences and deviations from critical limits immediately to make sure that process adjustments and corrective actions are made in a timely manner. This person should record and sign all monitoring results and occurrences associated with monitoring CCPs. Records and documents associated with monitoring CCPs should also be signed by one or more responsible reviewing officials of the company.

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