Latrobe Brewing Co. achieves HACCP rating. (Weekly Specialty Beer Report).
"Being the first brewery anywhere in the Americas to achieve HACCP accreditation is a tremendous accomplishment and a tribute to the people of Latrobe Brewing,' said Brad Hagan, director of brewery operations. "Not only does it demonstrate our commitment to safeguarding our consumers, it clearly shows the professionalism of Latrobe Brewing employees throughout every facet of our operation."
HACCP accreditation is required in certain parts of the food manufacturing industry, but it is not mandatory in the brewing industry. The Labatt organization made a voluntary pro-active commitment in 2000 to have all nine of its North American breweries achieve HACCP accreditation as part of an expanded consumer-focused food-safety program. Labatt's eight Canadian breweries are on schedule to achieve HACCP accreditation in 2003 and all of Interbrew's 60 some breweries around the world are to have HACCP procedures in place by the end of 2004.
According to Dr. Terry Dowhanick Quality Assurance & Product Integrity Manager for Labatt, the HACCP system has been recognized over the last 10 years by organizations such as CODEX Alimentarius Committee on Food Hygiene and the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods. "The system has become the basis for food safety regulations in a number of countries including the U.S., Canada and Japan," Dr. Dowhanick said.
The HACCP effort was managed internally by Jessica Hudale, HACCP coordinator for Latrobe Brewing, working with a team of employees. The third- party accreditation process was carried out through the HACCP Accreditation partnership of The Guelph Food Technology Center (GFTC)and the American Institute of Baking International (AIBI).
"The team at Latrobe Brewing did an excellent job of understanding the principles of HACCP and addressing potential food safety issues," said Dr. Cliff Pappas, head of HACCP and quality systems for AIBL "The brewery really took a multi-disciplinary approach with all members of the team participating in development and implementation of the HACCP plan."
Dr. Pappas said there is a growing movement in the U.S. to make HACCP accreditation mandatory for all segments of the food industry, including brewing.
Frank Schreurs, manager of auditing and consulting services for GFTC, said the brewing industry and other food and beverage sectors have been moving forward over the past few years to enhance the food safety programs they already have in place. "Labatt in particular has followed a very rigorous process over the past two years, in terms of assessing where they were and training employee team members to implement the elements of HACCP," Schreurs said. "This has been a true team effort across all of the Labatt facilities, which has allowed them to learn from each other and to structure an aggressive company-wide program to have all nine breweries HACCP accredited this year."
Latrobe Brewing's HACCP accreditation is good for three years, during which the facility will receive annual unannounced audits to check manufacturing and sanitation practices and to verify continuing implementation of the HACCP plan and procedures.