Baking Industry Association of Victoria president, Andrew O’Hara recommends bakers improve their business in the new financial year by implementing the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system.
Mr O’Hara, who is the head baker at Melbourne bakery Phillippa’s, has been using HACCP for four years and has been assisted by a HACCP ‘coach’ to implement and maintain the system.
“When the pressure hits you realise why you have the system. It makes you feel more comfortable and confident,” Mr O’Hara told Australian Baking Business.
HACCP is a risk-management methodology used by the food and related industries for the control of food safety hazards to acceptable risk levels. A typical food safety program will take six months from start to finish depending on the complexity of the operation, although many projects run for more than one year.
Mr O’Hara admitted that HACCP seminars can be “very dry”, but the program can make a significant difference to a business and is accessible to bakeries at any size. To help maintain the program at Phillippa’s, the business finds HACCP ‘champions’ within the bakery that maintain high standards of cleanliness and safety.
“In the first year (we implemented it), every Monday was about HACCP. It becomes the life of the bakery,” Mr O’Hara said.
“If you’re thinking about doing it, I more than recommend it,” he said.