Table 153

Steps for Determining Product Disposition

1. Determine if the product presents a safety hazard, based on:

(a) Expert evaluation

(b) Biological, chemical, or physical testing

2. If no hazard exists, the product may be released.

3. If a potential hazard exists, determine if the product can be:

(a) Reworked or reprocessed

(b) Diverted for an alternative use

4. If potentially hazardous product cannot be handled as described in step 3, the product must be destroyed of the immediate (short-term) problem as well as provide a long-term solution [9]. It may be necessary to determine the root cause of the deviation to prevent future recurrence. A CL failure that was not anticipated or one that reoccurs should result in the adjustment of the process or product and a re-evaluation of the HACCP plan. Because of the great diversity in fruit and vegetable products, and variation in the equipment used, type of processing, raw materials, etc., specific corrective actions must be developed for each CCP, according to the parameters of processing. When a deviation occurs and nonconforming product is produced, there are four steps for determining product disposition, as outlined in Table 15.3 [9].

Individuals who have a thorough understanding of the product, process, and HACCP plan should be assigned responsibility for writing the corrective action procedures and overseeing that the corrective actions are implemented [33]. Likewise, a log entry for each corrective action procedure should identify the person responsible for taking action to control product safety. HACCP plan records should contain a separate file in which all deviations and corresponding actions are maintained in an organized fashion.

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