Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, or HACCP is a systematic approach designed to prevent biological, chemical, and physical hazards in all levels of food production, preparation, packaging and distribution through identification, evaluation, and control based on 7 principles.
Conduct a hazard analysis
Determine food safety hazards and identify the preventive measures to control these hazards.
Identify critical control points
A critical control point is defined by the FDA as “a step at which control can be applied and is essential to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level”.
Establish critical limits for each critical control point
A critical limit is the “maximum or minimum value to which a physical, biological, or chemical hazard must be controlled at a critical control point to prevent, eliminate, or reduce that hazard to an acceptable level” – FDA.
Establish critical control point monitoring requirements
Monitoring activities are necessary to ensure that the process is under control at each critical control point. “In the United States, the FSIS requires that each monitoring procedure and its frequency be listed in the HACCP plan” – fsis.usda.gov
Establish corrective actions
Companies are required to implement a plan to identify the corrective actions to be taken if a critical limit is not met. “Corrective actions are intended to ensure that no product is injurious to health or otherwise adulterated as a result if the deviation enters commerce” – fsis.usda.gov
Establish procedures for ensuring the HACCP system is working as intended
Plants will be required to validate their own HACCP plans.
Establish record keeping procedures
All plants are required to maintain certain documents, including its hazard analysis and written HACCP plan, and records documenting the monitoring of critical control points, critical limits, verification activities, and the handling of processing deviations.
Seven basic principles are employed in the development of HACCP plans that meet the stated goal. These principles include hazard analysis, CCP identification, establishing critical limits, monitoring procedures, corrective actions, verification procedures, and record-keeping and documentation. Under such systems, if a deviation occurs indicating that control has been lost, the deviation is detected and appropriate steps are taken to re-establish control in a timely manner to assure that potentially hazardous products do not reach the consumer.
HACCP Principles & Application Guidelines. (2018). Fda.gov. Retrieved 19 September 2018, from www.fda.gov
HACCP Plan Monitoring and Corrective Actions (2018). Fsis.usda.gov. Retrieved 19 September 2018, from www.fsis.usda.gov