What is HACCP?

What is HACCP?

HACCP is a standard that helps to ensure the safety of food around the world. It stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. 

As the name suggests, HACCP identifies and removes potential risks and hazards in the food industry. This eliminates risks to the end consumer, while guaranteeing the quality of the products they purchase. 

As there are many different regulations according to countries and regions, it is essential to find the relevant information for your company. 

 

How does HACCP work?

For a business to be HACCP approved they must undertake an audit, where the production lines and systems are assessed in their safety in relation to food. 

Anything that has contact with food is thoroughly examined and carefully analysed for potential risks, such as the chance of contamination, and the likelihood of occurrence. 

From there, measures and systems are considered, and the company must comply with these to be certified and HACCP approved. 

   

What are the 7 HACCP principles?

Hazard Analysis -This is the first step, each stage from preparation to distribution must be examined. All hazards fall under the three headings of, chemical, physical, or biological. From here it must be decided the severity, and whether to manage, eliminate, or control the hazard.

Critical Control Points (CCP) -CCPs are used to reduce, monitor, or eliminate hazards, they are often the action points in keeping the food safe for consumption. They can either be procedures, steps or points.

Critical Limits – These are the boundaries of CCP’s, they are essentially the minimum or maximum limits. When a limit is exceeded then the food is unfit for consumption. for example, temperature of the food.

Critical control monitoring –Is the regular ongoing inspection of CCP’s and Critical limits. The type of monitoring necessary varies, with the types of controls. Monitoring needs to occur often to reduce any possible chance of risk to the food.

Corrective action –If a critical limit is exceeded, it is essential that corrective action is taken immediately. There are many rules and regulations that will help guide you in knowing what is required. For instance, meat has very strict rules about temperatures and times. Knowing the right corrective action and taking immediate action is vital.

Procedures – Procedures are important to allow everyone to know how to deal with a situation. Each business is required to make their own procedures to cover all elements of their business. 

Record keeping – The final stage is record keeping, Record keeping helps identifies patterns, and ensure consistency. These are a requirement of HACCP. They can save a lot of time in pin-pointing issues.  

 

The Benefits of HACCP:

HACCP has many obvious advantages as it provides assurance to consumers of the quality of the food. Many supermarkets require these as well, for sale to the public. 

Therefore, HACCP makes it easier for companies in the food industry to be confident about the quality of their products

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