In this article we answer the question “What is a HACCP Plan?”
HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is a food safety management system, a way for food business to prevent and control hazards. HACCP is an internationally recognised system to reduce risks from physical, microbiological, allergenic or chemical hazards. There are 7 steps necessary to carry out a HACCP plan.
- Conduct a hazard analysis
- Determine critical control points (CCP)
- Establish critical limits for each CCP
- Establish a monitoring procedure for each CCP
- Establish corrective actions
- Establish verification procedures for ensuring the HACCP system is working as intended
- Establish record keeping procedures
Why is HACCP important?
HACCP was developed to ensure the production of safe food whilst reducing the need for costly and inefficient end-product testing. When implementing HACCP, a food production business will need to consider all aspects of the production process that might be hazardous, whilst ensuring that good hygiene practices, such as cleaning, disinfection and pest control, are also planned and followed throughout. HACCP implementation will reduce costs, produce safe food and foster a safety culture in the business.
What is hazard?
When considering the production of safe food, a hazard is anything which could potentially cause injury, illness or harm to a consumer. There are four types of hazard: physical, chemical, microbiological and allergenic. For example, glass or plastic contaminating food could cause cuts to the inside of the mouth, whilst contamination from raw meat onto ready-to-eat food could cause food poisoning.
The first step in HACCP is the identification of hazards, then a decision needs to be made as to which ones require critical control points.
Legal requirements of HACCP
UK legislation requires all food business to implement food safety management systems based on the HACCP principles. HACCP considers all steps in production and aims to identify those areas where hazards are present. Through the implementation of HACCP, businesses can ensure that their resources are focused on key areas, and that controls are effectively and consistently applied. UK legislation also requires that those people in charge of supervising and implementing food safety should have HACCP training.
Envesca offers both a Level 2 and 3 Awards in HACCP. To find out more about these courses simply click on the links below: