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Prerequisite Program (PRP), Operational Prerequisite Program (OPRP) and Critical Control Points (CCP) are terms that you must encounter in discussions revolving around HACCP or food safety in general.

They can be quite confusing but I'll try to explain their difference in few words as much as I can.

โœ๐Ÿผ ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—พ๐˜‚๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—บ (๐—ฃ๐—ฅ๐—ฃ): These are general activities carried out to create hygienic conditions or make the environment fit for food production.
Examples: robust cleaning programs (janitorial services), hygienic plant design, waste management, integrated pest management, placement of hygiene stations, etc.

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โœ๐Ÿผ๐—ข๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—พ๐˜‚๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—บ (๐—ข๐—ฃ๐—ฅ๐—ฃ): After onsite inspection of the process flow diagram, you may identify one or two points in between the process that presents food safety risks that should be reduced to acceptable levels. OPRPs are designed for such risks.
Examples: Pasteurization of milk in a typical dairy processing line, Placing of metal detector to detect metals in dough in a typical biscuit baking line, UV sterilization of primary packaging materials, etc.

โœ๐Ÿผ๐—–๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—น ๐—ฃ๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜ (๐—–๐—–๐—ฃ): Just like the OPRPs, the CCPs are also identified after a hazard analysis and risk assessment. CCPs are expected to eliminate a food safety risk entirely or reduce it to safe limits. CCPs are the last safety measures capable of taking care of any food safety risk. If a CCP fails, consider that batch of product unsafe and unfit for consumption. The process must be within the critical limits at all times. An example is sterilization.

PRPs, OPRPs and CCP work synergistically to ensure that safe food is manufactured for consumers.

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About the Author

Chidinma Ezinne Ochulor is a certified Food Technologist, a quality assurance professional with over 3 years' experience. She is a professional member of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST). Reach her on LinkedIn, here

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