PROCESS EXPO: Tracking data for HACCP

by LAWRENCE AYLWARD
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To improve a process, you must first measure it, Ohio State’s Lynn Knipe says.
To improve a process, you must first measure it, Ohio State’s Lynn Knipe says.

CHICAGO – Lynn Knipe, processed meat extension specialist at The Ohio State Univ., advised processors on tracking and trending Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs during a seminar Thursday at PROCESS EXPO at McCormick Place.

“Your own data can be some of the best support you have with HACCP,” Knipe said.

Meat processors generate a lot of data during the monitoring of their critical control points and management practices and good management practices. Knipe discussed methods for tracking data over time, which allows the use of statistical analysis to demonstrate deviations or conformance to established critical limits.

To improve a process you must first measure it, he advised.

A key to making sense of data is to statistically analyze it to determine variation from established limits, he said. Measure the average variation between data points and the mean, and calculate the standard deviation.

It is important to plot data over time, Knipe added. Enter times and temperatures into a spreadsheet and make a graph. To interpret the graph, compare the mean temperature to the target temperature. Look for trends, Knipe advised. Interpretation of charts can help in determining causes of defects or deviation.

You can adjust HACCP critical limits based upon results, he explained.

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