Sabotaging of food is not new but is of a growing concern for food businesses and consumers.
Food safety became a prominent issue in the 1990’s, particularly as trade increased and people travelled and ate out more often. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) was developed and universally adopted throughout the world for food businesses to assess their potential risks to safe food and beverage. Any respectable food business achieved HACCP certification to demonstrate their adoption of best practice.
As time marched on, larger food businesses needed to become more sophisticated with respect to their food safety practices and ISO 22000 was released in 2005 to allow those businesses to achieve certification and demonstrate a superior systemic approach to food safety. Those systems were based on Pre-Requisite Programs developed for industry sectors, which are considered best practice.
With our changing world, two new threats to food safety have emerged: intentional adulteration of food (eg needles in strawberries) and deliberate fraud (eg horse meat being sold as meat in the UK). In response, two new programs have been developed to combat these 21st century threats to food safety.
Threat Assessment Critical Control Points (TACCP) is a risk based approach to assist food businesses in developing a Food Defence Plan to prevent behavourial or ideological based threats to food safety.
Vulnerability Assessment Critical Control Points (VACCP) is a risk based approach to assist in the development of a Food Fraud Vulnerability Plan (sometimes called a Food Fraud Mitigation Plan) to prevent economically motivated threats to food safety.
Higher level food safety standards such as FSSC 22000 now require these plans to be effectively implemented and the new 2018 version of ISO 22000 requires business to consider all food safety risks, inferring the Plans should be implemented. But smarter businesses aren’t waiting for the standards to require them!