Meat processors generate a lot of data during the monitoring of their CCPs and GMPs, associated with their HACCP programs, and this data could be better used by most meat processors to further support their HACCP plans. For example, by the use of tracking and trending, this data could be used to support hazard analysis (417.5(a)(1)) and corrective action decisions (417.5(a)(2)). Also, all HACCP programs require an annual reassessment (417.4(a)(3)), and in order to fulfill this obligation, management must look at a sampling of records, and reassess the deviations and trends that have occurred in the past year.
Tracking and trending of the data that processors generate can help in determining if the process is improving, needs adjustment, or is operating as originally intended. To make sense of this data that has been generated, one needs to statistically analyze it to determine the variation in the results from what has been established to be the limit. For example, if you have set 1½ hours as the critical limit for the time for the internal product temperature to drop from 130ºF to 80ºF during chilling, how consistently are you meeting that critical limit? How much variation is there from one oven load of product to the next in time that it takes to chill from 130ºF to 80ºF?