In food safety, validation and verification are critical processes to ensure the safety of products. These processes are often simple, such as determining the temperature and time of a cooking step. Alternatively, they can include alternative kill steps. The food industry is currently doing a good job, but needs to continually improve.
The first step of validation is to identify the hazards and concerns that could occur during the production process. Once these are identified, validation must create metrics and tools for monitoring and controlling these hazards. Validation, however, is not complete without verification. The verification process follows validation by ensuring that the process has been implemented as intended. As such, it requires continuous monitoring. This requires adequate resources and must be carried out by qualified personnel.
Food safety cannot be achieved without validation and verification. The food manufacturing industry is responsible for developing a scientifically sound food safety program and implementing it. It is also responsible for making sure that the program meets all required standards. Therefore, validation processes are integral to a food safety system and should be continually revised and updated to ensure that it provides the best protection against hazards.
Validation activities involve both internal company personnel and third-party experts. The purpose of validation is to confirm that a plan is effective, and that it is accurate. Verification is conducted when a company introduces new products, changes to packaging, or changes to labeling.