How Often Should A HACCP Plan Be Reviewed?
During our food safety courses, we are often asked “How often should HACCP be reviewed?” In this article, we explain what might lead to you reviewing your HACCP plan and what factors to consider.
Once developed and implemented, a HACCP plan should be reviewed periodically, for instance, once a year. A HACCP plan should also be reviewed if there are changes in production.
What type of changes might lead to a HACCP review?
The HACCP team needs to be made aware of any changes that might trigger a HACCP review and they should consider carefully the impact of these changes on food safety. Typical changes that necessitate a HACCP review are:
- Changes in the raw materials
- Changes in equipment or production area lay-out
- Changes in packaging or storage conditions
- New information on an existing hazard
- Changes in legislation
- Complaints from consumers
What factors should be considered in a review?
A review might indicate aspects of the food safety management system that need changing such as the flow diagram, hazard analysis, critical limits, records or corrective actions. In order to decide what changes will be needed the following should be considered:
- Does the HACCP plan still cover all areas of production?
- Does the documentation cover all aspects of the operation?
- Does the change introduce a significant hazard to the process?
Once the changes have been made, all relevant staff needs to be informed and/or trained.
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What could happen if a review does not take place?
If a significant change is introduced and a review does not take place the food safety procedures that are in place might no longer be effective, increasing the risk of unsafe food reaching the consumer.