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Design and implementation of HACCP plans

LarEll Associated Consultants have prepared some professional and easy to use guidelines on how to prepare and implement the HACCP system in different kinds of fish processing industries, such as canning industries, fresh fish filleting and freezing industries, smoked fish industries and semi-preserved fish producing industries. These guidelines are a result of many years of practical experience in introducing the HACCP principles in the fish processing industry in the Baltic region.
The guidelines are by intention simple and easy to follow having a logical structure that complies with the processing structure in most fish processing companies.


Prior to 1992 the Baltic fish processing industry like any other industry in the former Soviet Union was state owned and centrally controlled. Only little attention was paid to cost minimisation or operational efficiency. Standards for product recipes and quality controls in the fish processing industry were dictated from the central administration in Moscow and no deviations were allowed or attempted in order to improve on performance.

More or less all of the fish processing companies in the Baltic countries have by now been privatised and the management of the companies have to face new commercial responsibilities and within short also the challenges of being part of a new Europe. 

Fish handling, processing, packaging and hygiene standards are for the fish processing industry in today's Baltic countries much demanding. However, the companies have insufficient funds to renew or upgrade production facilities and procedures in order to raise product quality and ensure food safety in the products produced. 

So far only few companies have been able to improve their processing facilities and to introduce modern QA procedures and HACCP. Considerable upgrading of buildings and equipment plus investment in training and other activities are still required if the Baltic fish processing industry is to take advantage of the enormous European free market to come with the Baltic countries membership of the EU. The SAPARD programme is a possibility for the companies to have access to favourable funding of improving on facilities, quality and food safety. 

Introduction of HACCP procedures and principles are a must not only for those companies that will apply for funding under the SAPARD programme but for all companies that are looking for exploring the new markets in the EU. 

The HACCP history – summary.

HACCP, which is an abbreviation for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, is a management tool recognised and recommended as the system to implement in food processing companies to fulfil the mandatory regulations in EU, USA and Canada directives on an “own check system” for food safety. 

The HACCP system was first developed in the 1960’s in USA as a response to the food safety requirements imposed by National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) for “space foods” produced for manned space flights.

The system was first presented to the world in 1971 and adopted by the US Food and Drug Administration in the regulations for low-acid and acidified canned food.

However, the system was not widely used in the industry but in 1985 a study commissioned by several US agencies strongly endorsed HACCP and recommended that regulators and industry both utilise HACCP because it was the most effective and efficient means of assuring the safety of food supply.  This endorsement leads to an international development of the HACCP system, and in 1988 the International Commission on Microbiological Specification published a book on HACCP for Foods. Two years later in 1990 the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) started to prepare a draft guideline for the application of the HACCP system. This guide has evolved over the years and been the basis for the system as it has been used in this project. 

For a complete understanding of the HACCP it must be underlined that HACCP is not a quality system like Quality Assurance (QA) or Total Quality Management (TQM) but a system to implement to ensure food safety and to avoid food borne health risks. The HACCP system is on the other hand in its present form directly compatible with the two former systems and should be implemented in food processing companies together with these.

Another difference in the HACCP system to those of QA and TQM is that HACCP is a system recognised and required by governments whereas QA and TQM are systems generally recognised and asked for by customers.

Today government recognition of HACCP as the most effective means of managing food safety is well established on a worldwide basis; and more countries both importing and producing are making HACCP mandatory.

The HACCP system.

General description.

 As –

-       it has become mandatory regulation within EU to have an “own control system” implemented in food processing companies for control of food safety (Directive 91/493 and 94/356), and

-       the directive in this respect prescribes that such system must be in line with the internationally recognised HACCP system, and

-       this regulation not only applies for companies producing within the EU but also for companies in 3. countries that intend to export their products to the EU,

then fish processing companies in the Baltic countries –

-       which produce, handle, supply or deliver food products should recognise as a consequence an increasing need to demonstrate and document the control of conditions with an impact on food safety not only to meet national demands in this respect but to make export to the EU possible.

-       will be subjected to regular supervision by authorities and customers, national as well as international. 

However, for an “own control system” as HACCP to function effectively, it needs to be designed, operated and maintained within the framework of a structured management system and be incorporated into the overall management activities – in short, such system must from the very beginning have the full support of the company’s top management.

The guidelines prepared by LarEll describes the elements of a HACCP system -

-       being in line with the internationally recognised principles of which the main idea is to help companies focus on the process steps and production conditions which are critical to food safety

-       having been adapted to the conditions prevailing in the individual Baltic country's fish processing industries.

How to proceed.

If the above have your interest  - and you want our assistance to design and implement the HACCP system for your company - please send us a few word about the company using the following form and we will send you an offer for our professional and efficient service. If you just want more information please use the same form - writing more info.

Please be informed that we assists fish and food processing industries all over the world - also in individually designed HACCP systems and the implementation.


Brief description of your company and needs

Contact information

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Offices in Copenhagen and Gdansk
Copenhagen:  Teglværksvej 82 DK-3460 Birkerød tel +45 45 81 83 40  fax +45 45 81 83 46  larsen(a)
Gdansk Ul. Smugowa 8A PL-80299 Gdansk tel +48 58 5 52 77 92 piotr.bykowski(a)
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Copyright © 2001 LarEll Associated Consultants
Latest updated: 04-06-2007