Problems related to use of HACCP preharvest

The application of HACCP-type principles is most problematic during the preharvest period. There are several reasons for these problems:

• The field situation with respect to Fusarium head blight and mycotoxin development is complex, and some scientific information is lacking.

• At present, there are no control measures that can guarantee elimination of Fusarium head blight or the prevention of mycotoxin contamination.

• Economic factors also affect farming practices. In particular, field management, cropping systems and chemical input may reflect economic pressures more accurately than they do practices for disease control or for toxin reduction or elimination.

• In food processing plants, where HACCP was first developed, definitive control measures can be devised and implemented to close limits. The same level of control cannot be exercised in the field, e.g., temperature and moisture depend on the weather conditions. Thus, some scientists think that attempts to apply HACCP to preharvest situations are fundamentally flawed.

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