What is HACCP? Can it be used to prevent intentional contamination? Will it help keep the quality of products? These are questions we frequently hear. Here’s a brief description.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a food safety management system which is internationally recognized. It is an essential tool used to ensure commercial food processors, restaurant owners, and other entities deliver a safe, final product. Devised originally by Pillsbury to produce safe food for the space industry, it was then adopted by the food industry.
HACCP is a system which provides a series of steps which allows the ability to identify and assess potential hazards in food production. An integral part of a HACCP plan is establishing preventive procedures for potential hazards.
A HACCP plan can be applied to new products and processes, or those which are existing. A HACCP plan is typically requested by government entities, responsible for overseeing food safety, when a variance is requested by a professional food establishment.
HACCP is a 7-principle process which needs to be followed step-by-step for it to work properly.
The seven HACCP principles can be summarized as follows:
- Hazard analysis
- Determine Critical Control Points (CCPs)
- Establish critical limits at CCPs
- Monitor critical limits
- Establish corrective actions when control at CCPs is lost
- Verify that the HACCP system is working effectively
- Document procedures and devise records appropriate to the process
HACCP is designed to prevent unintentional contamination of food. Other programs are designed to prevent intentional food contamination. Also, HACCP is not designed to ensure food quality.
If creating a HACCP program seems overwhelming, help is available. There are companies and even individuals whose function is to create HACCP plans. Need help with a HACCP plan? Contact us and we’ll provide information for just such entities.