Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Explained

Male Technician Sitting Near Dishwasher Writing On Clipboard In Kitchen

A Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) management system is key to following food hygiene and safety measures. As a food production company, you can discover everything you need to know about HACCP principles and application right here.

All the way back in 1971, HACCP was first introduced to the food industry at the National Conference on Food Protection. Ever since then, it has been an integral part of the food industry, helping countless businesses to provide customers with safe food.

So, what exactly is HACCP? It’s simple, really. HACCP is a smart way of managing every aspect of your food safety through different HACCP principles. The HACCP principles are:

  • Conduct hazard analysis
  • CCP identification
  • Establish critical limits
  • Monitor procedures
  • Implement correction actions
  • Establish verification procedures
  • Follow record-keeping and documentation procedures

Let’s take a closer look at how these principles work.

Conduct Hazard Analysis

Hazard analysis allows you (the food production company) to uncover potential hazards throughout your organization. When hazards are found, you can then implement preventive and corrective actions so that nobody, from your employees to customers, is harmed.

An example of this would be if a HACCP team conducted a hazard analysis of frozen cooked beef and discovered the presence of enteric pathogens, which can cause disease. Naturally, this would mean that the production of the cooked beef would need to be halted to ensure the future safety of customers.

Other types of hazards can also include chemical hazards, which usually appear during food safety processes. You can learn more about this (and how to handle chemical hazards) at safefood360.com.

CCP Identification

Critical Control Points (CCPs) are very important. They are the “control points” where hazards are prevented, eliminated, or reduced. For instance, thermal processing would be an example of a CCP. Essentially, it’s any type of corrective action put into place.

Establish Critical Limits

Critical limits are conditions in which hazards need to be controlled or eliminated. These conditions are very specific and key to the successful elimination of hazards. Examples include temperature, time, and water activity.

Monitor Procedures

Monitoring procedures are designed so that you can understand whether processes and different CCPs are operating as they should be. During the monitoring, you might discover that they aren’t, which is when changes can be made.

Implement Corrective Actions

If a critical limit isn’t being met, then what needs to be done? These are the corrective actions. You might find that your corrective actions vary, from rejecting foods entirely to chilling products that have gone above a certain temperature.

Establish Verification Procedures

Verification procedures in a HACCP plan look at documentation compliance and the effectiveness of procedures to ensure that everything is verified. Often, period verifications are needed due to changes that are implemented.

Follow Record-keeping and Documentation Procedures

The final step is to follow record-keeping and documentation procedures. This is when you collect all the information and data from your HACCP plan and keep it safely secured. This will include hazard analysis sheets, details about HACCP team members, the cost of CCPs, and more.

As a food production company, you need to have an excellent HACCP plan in place moving into the future so that you can ensure the maximum safety of your customers and clients.


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