The Journey towards HACCP Certification


James Madegwa
Geothermal Development Company


ABSTRACT

In Kenya, geothermal manifestation is usually in remote locations which require massive infrastructural development before drilling commences. In such cases, the drilling crew together with other important team members, also referred to as technical team, will be expected to camp at the project site to allow for 24 hours operation of the drilling services. Catering service is a key factor that contributes towards effective execution of tasks by the technical team. In Geothermal Development Company (GDC), an In-House Catering Service was adopted to provide safe and healthy meals to the technical team camping at the remote project sites; in Menengai and Baringo – Silali projects. Remote project sites disadvantage delivery of safe meals due to long dusty distances, lack of appropriate facilities and existence of living organisms among others. At the start of the In-House catering service, there were no documented food safety management processes to help in ensuring preparation of safe meals which led to staff having food borne related illnesses. HACCP, an internationally recognized logical and scientific system aimed at controlling safety problems in food production, was adopted by GDC to ensure preparation and delivery of safe meals. The 5 preliminary stages of HACCP development, the 7 principles and baseline studies were carried out in an effort to document the HACCP system. Implementation of the approved HACCP was rolled out immediately. Over the last two years since the roll out of HACCP implementation, GDC has not only benefited in achieving preparation and serving of safe meals but also reduced its operational costs, increased staff confidence in catering services, reduced staff output due to reduction of cases of food borne illnesses among others. For GDC to draw full benefits from the HACCP system, it is recommended that the pending prerequisite programs as recommended by the HACCP system development committee be fully implemented. Thereafter, an experienced consultant should be engaged to review the system and the documentations after which GDC should start engaging a credited Certification Body to get certified. This paper examines this journey that GDC has followed to implement and draw benefits from the HACCP system with the aim of getting certified.
Keywords: Remote Project Sites, In-house Catering Services, HACCP System, Food Safety, Baseline Study.


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