Peanut Butter Hazard Analysis Example

Considering the steps of receiving raw peanuts through the process of mixing of ingredients, we recognize four potential hazards in receiving – one biological, two chemical, and one physical. 

The potential biological hazard is Salmonella bacteria. 

How do we know this? The scientific literature shows that raw peanuts have had a history of contamination with Salmonella. Many crops grown in the ground have the potential for contamination from the environment or harvesting. 

Does Salmonella require a preventive control? Again, when we consider research into the likelihood that people who consume the bacteria will get sick, we decide that a preventative control is necessary. Next, we document the justification in saying Salmonella is a hazard and requires control.

HAZARD ANALYSISPRODUCT: Peanut ButterPAGE ______OF _____
PLANT NAME:ISSUE DATE
ADDRESS:SUPERSEDES
Ingredient or processing stepHazardPreventive Control required?Justify decision Preventive ControlsApplied at this step?
YesNoYesNo
Receiving packaging – jars and lidsB – None
C – None
P – None
Receiving packaging – labelsB – None
C – Undeclared allergen (peanut)XProduct contains peanut as an ingredientAllergen control – Label review upon receipt for correct allergen informationX
P – None
Receiving non-peanut ingredients – salt, sugar, oilB – None
C – None
P – None
Receiving raw peanutsB – Non-sporeforming pathogens such as SalmonellaXRaw peanuts have a history of contamination with vegetative pathogens from the environment of harvestingProcess control – Subsequent roasting destroys SalmonellaX
C – AflatoxinXAflatoxin may be present due to growth of Aspergillus flavus during growth, harvesting or storageSupply-chain control – Verification of supplier Certificate of AnalysisX
C – Unapproved pesticideXUnapproved pesticides may be present in imported peanuts but are less likely in domestically sourced peanuts. Domestic peanuts are used.
P – Foreign material e.g., wood, metal, plastic, stonesXGrinding and milling would reduce the size to a non-hazardous nature. Supplier controls these to prevent adulteration and potential equipment damage.

Then, we determine that the process control of roasting could be used to reduce Salmonella to safe levels, but that action would be implemented at a later step.

HAZARD ANALYSISPRODUCT: Peanut butterPAGE _______ OF ________
PLANT NAME:ISSUE DATE
ADDRESS:SUPERSEDES
Ingredient or processing stepHazardPreventive Control required?Justify decisionPreventive controlsApplied at this step?
YesNoYesNo
Packaging StorageB – None
C – None
P – None
Non-peanut ingredient storageB – None
C – None
P – None
Raw peanut storageB – None
C – AflatoxinXThe dry conditions and short storage time prevents production of aflatoxin
P – None

Now let’s look at that roasting step. We see two potential hazards: the biological Salmonella hazard and a physical hazard of foreign materials. Salmonella does require a preventive control because the bacteria may pose a significant health risk. This is a process control step since the thermal treatment destroys Salmonella. We decide that foreign material does not require a preventive control because we have data from metal detectors that metal rarely shows up in the roasting process. We justify the decision by pointing to preventive maintenance.

Hazard Analysis – Peanut Butter Example (continued)

HAZARD ANAYLSISPRODUCT: Peanut butterPAGE _____ OF _______
PLANT NAME:ISSUE DATE _______
ADDRESS:SUPERSEDES ________
Ingredient or processing stepHazardPreventive control required?Justify decisionPreventive controlsApplied at this step?
YesNoYesNo
Raw peanut cleaningB – Environmental pathogens such as SalmonellaXRaw peanuts may contain Salmonella that can contaminate the environmentSanitation control – Implement hygienic zoning to contain potential Salmonella in this pre-roast areaX
C – None
P – Foreign material e.g., wood, metal, plastic, stonesXData from subsequent metal detection demonstrates that metal fragments originating from roasting are rare due in part to preventive maintenance
RoastingB – Non-sporeforming pathogens such as SalmonellaXNon-sporeforming pathogens may be present in the raw peanutsProcess control – Roasting step destroys Salmonella by thermal treatmentX
C – None
P – Foreign material – metalXData from subsequent metal detection demonstrates that metal fragments originating from roasting are rare due in part to preventive maintenance
CoolingB – Environmental pathogens such as Salmonella XSalmonella harbored in the environment could contaminate exposed productSanitation control – Zoning and dry cleaning proceduresX
C – None
P – None
GrindingB – Environmental pathogens such as Salmonella XSalmonella harbored in the environment could contaminate exposed productSanitation control – Zoning and dry cleaning proceduresX
C
P – Foreign material – metalXMetal fragments could be generated during the grinding processProcess control – Metal detection at a later stepX
Mixing all ingredientsB – Environmental pathogens such as Salmonella XSalmonella harbored in the environment could contaminate exposed productSanitation control – Zoning and dry cleaning proceduresX
C – None
P – Foreign material – metalXMetal fragments could be generated during the mixing process. Preventive maintenance reduces this occurrenceProcess control – Metal detection at a later stepX

Studying the other steps in this example will give you a good feel for what is effective for a hazard analysis. It will take some experience and use of resources to become proficient at identifying hazards, preventive controls, and justifications.