HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) Pronounced ‘hassup’. HACCP = food safety.
VACCP (Vulnerability Assessment Critical Control Point) Pronounced ‘vassup’. VACCP = prevention of economically motivated food fraud.
TACCP (Threat Assessment Critical Control Point) Pronounced ‘tassup’. TACCP = prevention of malicious threats to food, such as sabotage, extortion or terrorism.
HACCP is a set of principles designed to control and prevent food safety risks during food production. The ideas of HACCP form the basis of every food safety standard that is in use today. HACCP is not owned or regulated by any organisation. The principles of HACCP are codified (written down) by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which is part of the United Nations (UN), in a set of documents called the Codex Alimentarius , a latin phrase which translates to “Book of Food”. The principles of HACCP are described in the Annex of the Codex document GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF FOOD HYGIENE CAC/RCP 1-1969. You can download a copy of the code of practice here and you can view the Annex containing the principles of HACCP here.
VACCP and TACCP are relatively new terms that have emerged in the last five years as standards agencies, government regulators and industry groups have been talking more about how to prevent food fraud and malicious tampering. The general idea is to create new preventive systems similar to the ideas behind HACCP. We know that HACCP is effective at preventing inadvertent contamination, and more importantly it is well understood by food businesses, auditors, standards writers and regulators. So take the ideas of HACCP, replace the ‘Hazard’ with ‘Vulnerability’ or ‘Threat’ and go for it, right?
The idea sounds good in theory, but what about in practice? The critical control ‘points’ in a VACCP and TACCP plan do not look much like the ‘control points’ in a HACCP plan at all. The control points in a HACCP plan are operational steps in a manufacturing process; the process is generally linear and the ‘control points’ are operational processes over which the food manufacturer can exercise direct control.
In contrast, the actions that are required to prevent deliberate tampering within a food supply chain do not sit comfortably on a linear set of operations. The terms VACCP and TACCP are falling out of favour within the food fraud and food defense communities. They are not referenced specifically within any of the GFSI food safety standards, nor within the USA’s FSMA. It is much better practice to say “Vulnerabilities to food fraud” or “threats of malicious tampering”.
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