Guidelines for creating a food safety HACCP program in zoos or aquaria

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Abstract

The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) monitoring system has been used traditionally to increase quality control in human food production operations and there is pressure to implement it at the producer and purchaser levels of the food chain. Recently, the concept of HACCP monitoring has extended to food fed to domestic animals. Captive wildlife facilities, such as zoos and aquaria, would benefit from a well-organized, food safety and nutritional monitoring system. Zoos and aquaria spend significant resources in time and money on maintaining the health of their animals; much of this energy is focused on disease prevention and adequate nutrition. The result of these combined efforts is the implementation of a HACCP program in zoo food management. Although zoo food handling standards have been implemented through the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) accreditation process, food borne disease outbreaks and malnutrition still exist. By implementing an organized approach to monitoring the quality of food delivered to the animals, the safety and nutritional value of the foods will increase, while decreasing the financial loss due to food waste and time spent caring for ill animals. This report provides a framework for implementing a HACCP program into the food preparation and handling system of zoos and aquaria. Zoo Biol 0:1–11, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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