HACCP – Hazard Critical Control Points – a system that enables identification of production procedures in relation to individual products. This system consists of identifying specific risk factors (biological, chemical, physical) and developing methods to control their level, taking into account the different stages of production, processing and distribution. Once this system has been implemented, the operator is required to continuously control, monitor and document the level of factors that may pose a risk. Thus, the operator is obliged to provide documentary evidence that the risk factors are kept at levels which do not pose a risk to humans or animals.
GMP – Good Manufacture Practice – a set of good manufacturing standards. These standards relate to all activities and conditions which must be guaranteed in order to ensure an adequate level of food safety and quality. GMP covers areas such as staff training, plant buildings and their surroundings, staff hygiene, cleaning and disinfection processes, pest control and much more.
GHP – Good Hygienic Practice – a set of good hygienic standards. An idea similar to GMP, but relating only to hygiene and food safety aspects.
ISO – International Organization for Standardization – a set of international standards characterizing and describing many aspects of the activities in the meat sector: from meat sampling and salt content testing to the management of personal data and the determination of quality of meat and meat products. The set of ISO standards even specifies the definition of quality, defining it as “the degree to which a set of inherent properties meets the requirements”.
In addition to the mandatory standards, the vast majority of plants in the European Union are certified in accordance with additional, even more stringent private sector requirements. These standards include:
IFS – International Featured Standard – an international food safety standard developed in 2002 by retailers. This standard is widely used in the European Union.
BRC – British Retail Consortium – regularly updates the set of requirements concerning the areas of HACCP, QMS, GMP, GHP, product control, process control and personnel management.
Both the IFS and BRC standards cover the aforementioned definitions, ensuring that quality and safety requirements are met from the perspective of large retailers.