System Effectiveness

Why food companies are implementing "food safety systems"? No matter if that system is a HACCP program, a GFSI program or any other "food safety" scheme, the purpose is the same: "prevent, reduce or eliminate" food safety hazards. 
 
The only way that you can really accomplish this is by fully understanding the process on how to develop and implement the food safety scheme of your choice. 
 
The main factor, the most critical point to accomplish in the implementation of a food safety system, is to have evidence that the system is effective, that the controls in place (...and you can call them control measures or preventive controls, procedures or, any other name...) are actually preventing, reducing or eliminating identified hazards. Otherwise, you'll have a lot of documents and records with no relevant meaning. 
 
So, how do you accomplish your goal of developing and implementing an effective food safety system? For sure, it is not by just going to a HACCP class and/or taking a training specific for the standard you decided to implement. I'm a certified Adult Train-The-Trainer, a trainer for Seafood HACCP Alliance, a trainer for the International HACCP Alliance and SQF. I can say that, in most cases, my students leave the training room with a very good understanding of hazards and risks and control measures and critical limits, just to mention a few terms used during the trainings. Does that mean they know all the requirements of the Law, that they will be able to identify all hazards and determine which are significant and which are not, that they can develop the documentation with details of the goals of the procedures, responsible individuals (...and their training requirements), that they are capable of designing all records required to provide evidence that whatever is important in that procedure is being recorded and, how to validate and verify each procedure? 
 
You not only need to have a very strong background in HACCP methodology but, good understanding of the hazards associated with each ingredient, with the process, with people, etc. This knowledge is not gained by attending a training! It is gained by continuous education and years of practice. For example, the Codex Alimentarius states: "A qualified individual (with proper scientific background) must analyse the measurements to interpret correctly the data collected." In the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in the US, a "qualified individual would be required to prepare the food safety plan, develop the hazard analysis, validate the preventive controls, review records and conduct a reanalysis of the food safety plan (or oversee these activities)."
 
If someone is looking to develop and implement a food safety system, it is wise to have someone with the necessary "qualifications" to guide the process and mostly, to help in the training of the employees and mostly those that will have food safety responsibilities.