Glossary

Aerobic micro-organisms:

Are those which grow best in the presence of air and are inhibited in oxygen free conditions. Some examples include Salmonella spp, Campylobacter, E.coli o157 and Bacillus cereus. Obligate aerobes can only grow in the presence of oxygen.

Anaerobic micro-organisms:

Are those which grow best in the absence of oxygen and are inhibited in oxygen rich conditions. As such, these micro-organisms are capable of growth in vacuum packaged foods and foods packaged in a modified atmosphere. Some examples include Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium perfringens. Obligate anaerobes can only grow in the absence of oxygen.

Aw (or aw)

Water activity.  A measurement of the water available to a microorganism.  This is different to the percentage moisture due to the way solutes such as salt bind to water molecules.

CIMSCEE

COMITE´ DES INDUSTRIES DES MAYONNAISES ET SAUCES CONDIMENTAIRES DE LA COMMUNAUTE´ ECONOMIQUE EUROPEENNE  this is a means of determining the stability of a foodstuff such as sauces based on their acidic (acetic acid) content.

Control (noun)

The state wherein correct procedures are being followed and criteria are being met.

Control (verb)

To take all necessary actions to ensure and maintain compliance with criteria established in the HACCP Team.

Control Measure

Any action and activity that can be used to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.

Corrective action

Any action to be taken when the results of monitoring at the CCP indicates a loss of control.

Critical Control Point (CCP)

A step at which control can be applied and is essential to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.

CCP Decision Tree

A sequence of questions which can be applied to each process step with an identified hazard to identify which process steps are CCPs.

Critical Limit

A criterion that separates safe product from potentially unsafe product i.e. acceptability from unacceptability.

Deviation

Failure to meet a critical limit.

F Value

The equivalent time, in minutes at a given temperature, of all the heat received with respect to its capacity to destroy spores or vegetative cells of microorganisms characterised by the same temperature coefficient of destruction (z value).

These constants must be specified, therefore, at a temperature of 121.1 degrees and for a z value of 10C it is written as F 121.1.  These, however, are the most common constants in use and it is normal to abbreviate F 121.1 to F .

Flow Diagram

A systematic representation of the sequence of steps or operations used in the production or manufacture of a particular food item.

Food business/Food business operator (FBO)

A company that carries out the preparation, processing, manufacturing, packing, handling, storage or sale of products.

HACCP

A system that identifies, evaluates and controls hazards that are significant for food safety.

HACCP Plan

A document prepared in accordance with the principles of HACCP to ensure control of hazards that are significant for food safety.  A HACCP plan may encompass more than one HACCP study.

HACCP Study

The devotion of time and attention to acquiring the knowledge and information that is necessary to complete  MyHACCP.   Depending on how complex your process is you may carry out more than one HACCP study.  E.g. You may carry out one HACCP study for goods in, one for production (including all the products you produce) and one for despatch, this is referred to as a modular system.  Alternatively you may complete  one HACCP study for all products you make covering goods in through to despatch, this is referred to as a linear system.

HACCP Team

A group of suitably qualified and experienced personnel that are responsible for developing and maintaining a HACCP system.

Hazard

A biological, chemical or physical agent in, or condition of, food with the potential to cause an adverse health effect.  

Hazard analysis

The process of collecting and evaluating information onhazards and conditions leading to their presence to decide which are significant for food safety and therefore should be addressed in the HACCP plan.

MAP

Modified Atmosphere Packing.

Module

An approach to HACCP where you group process steps for a wide range of products.  Each module will have a separate flow diagram and be covered by a HACCP study.

Monitoring

The act of conducting a planned sequence of observations or measurements of control parameters to assess whether a CCP is under control.

pH

A measurement of the acidity/alkalinity of a system.  Most foods are in the acidic range, i.e. pH <7.0.  Fresh beef, for example, may have a pH of 6.0 whereas orange juice may have a pH of 3.5.

Prerequisite food hygiene requirements

These are often referred to as prerequisite programmes (PRPs) in other documentation you may look at.  They are measures that provide the basic environmental and operating conditions in a food operation that are necessary for the production of safe and wholesome food.

Process Step / step

A point, procedure, operation or stage in the food chain, including raw materials, from primary production to final consumption.

Review

Scheduled and initiated examination of the HACCP plan to ensure that it is kept up to date.

RTE

Ready to eat.

Target level

A predetermined operational value for the control measure which has been shown to eliminate or control a hazard at a CCP (see also TOLERANCE below).

Tolerance

The value between the target level and the critical limit.

UHT

Ultra-heat treatment or ultra-high temperature processing.

Validation

Obtaining evidence that the elements of the HACCP plan are effective.

Verification

The application of methods, procedures, tests and other evaluations, in addition to monitoring, to determine compliance with the HACCP.

VP

Vacuum Packing.