Application of HACCP (Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points) in managing common hazards in small scale groundnut paste processing industries in Uganda.
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Groundnuts have been associated with many hazards, especially aflatoxins, a potent carcinogen in animals and humans. A number of strategies to reduce these hazards, especially aflatoxin have been suggested, including Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). This study was aimed at establishing the effectiveness of HACCP in reducing hazards in small scale groundnut processing industries. Furthermore, the study investigated the level of HACCP adoption in small scale groundnut processing industries, in addition to the motivational factors and barriers to HACCP implementation. In-depth narrative interviews were carried out with eight small scale groundnut processors attempting to implement HACCP. Analysis of their interviews was carried out to identify major motivational factors and barriers to HACCP implementation in their processing industries. Four themes acting as ‘motivational factors’ were identified and these included: desire to improve product quality, maintenance of health of consumers, expansion of their markets and curiosity. Six key themes acting as ‘barriers’ to successful implementation were identified. These were lack of awareness, lack of understanding of the HACCP concept, language constraints, negative environmental factors, poor supplier selection and limited resources. Quantitative physical and microbial analysis was conducted on raw groundnuts, roasted groundnuts and groundnut paste collected from four of the eight processors, six (6) times over a period of eighteen (18) months. Two of these processors were trained in HACCP, while the other two were not trained. These samples were analyzed for physical hazards, microbial load and aflatoxins. Results indicated no significant difference in physical hazards levels, microbial load and aflatoxin content between those trained and not trained in HACCP. In addition, over 70% of groundnut paste samples recorded aflatoxin levels above 10ppb (highest limit set by UNBS). The results indicated that even with the development of a HACCP plan, HACCP implementation in small scale groundnut processing industries participating in this study was difficult. From this, essential issues to be addressed in order for successful HACCP to be achieved in small scale groundnut processing industries are put forward.