Process flow diagram
Process flow diagram
The flow diagram should be constructed by the HACCP team. The flow diagram should cover all steps in the operation for a specific product. The same flow diagram may be used for a number of products that are manufactured using similar processing steps. When applying HACCP to a given operation, consideration should be given to steps preceding and following the specified operation.
The purpose of the flow diagram is to provide a clear simple description of all steps involved in the processing. Receiving and storage steps for raw materials and ingredients should be included. Time and temperature conditions during processing should be mentioned whenever there is a holding step e.g. in holding vats, buffer tanks or other areas, where this could be a potential delay in processing.
Whatever the format chosen all steps involved in the process, including delays during or between steps, from receiving the raw materials to placing the end product on the market, through preparation, processing, packaging, storage and distribution, should be studied in sequence and presented in a detailed flow diagram together with sufficient technical data.
Types of data may include but are not limited to:
- plan of working premises and ancillary premises
- equipment layout and characteristics
- sequence of all process steps (including the incorporation of raw materials, ingredients or additives and delays during or between steps)
- technical parameters of operations (in particular time and temperature, including delays)
- flow of products (including potential cross-contamination)
- segregation of clean and dirty areas (or high/low risk areas)
The following requirements are prerequisites and can be integrated in the HACCP system:
- cleaning and disinfection procedures
- hygienic environment of the establishment
- personnel routes and hygiene practices
- product storage and distribution conditions
Confirmation accuracy of flow diagram
Steps must be taken to confirm the processing operation against the flow diagram during all stages and hours of operation and amend the flow diagram where appropriate.
The confirmation of the flow diagram should be performed by a person or persons with sufficient knowledge of the processing operation.
HACCP plans examples