1 Department of Animal Health and Bioscience, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Aarhus University, Aarhus University2 Heard Health and Produktion Management, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Aarhus University, Aarhus University3 Department of Animal Science - Epidemiology and management, Department of Animal Science, Science and Technology, Aarhus University4 Department of Animal Science - Epidemiology and management, Department of Animal Science, Science and Technology, Aarhus University
In the process of developing a generic Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)-like system for securing animal health and welfare in organic egg production, an expert panel analysis was used to perform the initial hazard analysis. Eighteen advisers and researchers in organic egg production were included in the expert panel. In a series of four questionnaires, the expert panel first scored 34 health and welfare problems seen in Danish organic egg production. Based on scorings of severity and occurrence, 10 problems were selected for further analysis. The experts subsequently suggested and scored risk factors for those problems and finally suggested control points, alarm values indicating the need for corrective actions in order to control the risk factors and monitoring frequencies of these. The 10 selected problems were hunger, thirst, piling, crop impaction, blackhead, pasteurellosis, bone fractures, cannibalism, predators and red mites. A total of 154 different risk factors were suggested for these problems. The 41 risk factors which rated highest in a combined scoring of importance and occurrence were selected for further analysis. There was a high degree of consensus between experts when scoring both problems and risk factors. The level of consensus, as defined by an interquartile range 1, was 79% to 100% when scoring the health and welfare problems (scale 1-5) and 77% to 95% when scoring the risk factors (scale 1-4). On average, 5.8 control points were suggested for every risk factor. Alarm values were often not detailed enough to be of practical significance and further analysis is needed in order to define these. The experts were highly diverse in their suggested monitoring frequencies and establishment of monitoring schemes should be part of developing the farm specific systems. An expert panel analysis based on questionnaires was a useful tool during the first steps of developing a HACCP plan, conducting a hazard analysis and suggesting control points. However, care should be taken regarding the panel's size and fields of expertise in order to assure that the panel fully covers the field of interest throughout the study. A further development of the hazard analysis into a farm-specific HACCP system would include assembling an on-farm HACCP team consisting of farmers and advisors for the practical application of control points, alarm values and monitoring schemes. The results from the fourth questionnaire would be useful as input for this work.