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Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point.


What is HACCP?


HACCP is a system that relies on process controls to minimize food safety risks in the food processing industry. The acronym HACCP (pronounced /'hæ-sip/) stands for “Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point”. It is useful to think of HACCP as a preventative food safety system, and not a traditional quality control inspection system.



Origin of HACCP


In the 1960's, the Pillsbury Corporation developed the HACCP control system with NASA to ensure food safety for the first manned space missions.


The HACCP system and guidelines for its application were defined by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. This Commission implements the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and World Health Organization (WHO) Food Standards Programme.


Following an outbreak of E. coli 0157 in Scotland in 1996, the Pennington Report recommended that HACCP be adopted by all food businesses to ensure food safety.


The BRC Global Standard Version 5 has specific requirements for the incorporation of HACCP into Company Food Safety Management Systems


Effective HACCP is invaluable in supporting any due diligence defense, and will enhance good manufacturing practice.


The design and implementation of an organization's food safety management system are influenced by varying factors, in particular food safety hazards, the products provided, the processes employed and the size and structure of the organization. This Technical Specification gives guidance on the use of ISO 22000, which is based on the principles of HACCP as described by the Codex Alimentarius Commission and is designed to be applied together with relevant standards published by that organization.



Implementation of HACCP


HACCP could be defined as the system used to formally identify, evaluate, and control hazards that are significant to food safety. HACCP activities require 12 very logical and straightforward steps:



  • Assemble the HACCP team that will ensure that the HACCP plan is properly completed and implemented.
  • Describe the product associated with the specific HACCP plan; organizations that produce multiple products may have several HACCP plans.
  • Identify the intended use of the product.
  • Construct flow diagrams showing the flow and steps associated with the product and process steps.
  • Confirm the flow diagram by direct investigation or observation, list all potential hazards associated with the flow, and conduct a hazard analysis to determine which hazards need to be controlled.
  • Identify and consider control measures that can be undertaken to prevent the hazard.
  • Determine the critical control points where controls will be put in place to ensure food safety.
  • Establish critical limits for each critical control point where acceptable levels are clearly defined.
  • Establish a monitoring system for each critical control point.
  • Establish corrective actions to be taken when critical limits have been exceeded.
  • Establish verification procedures to monitor results.
  • Establish documentation and record keeping to provide evidence of control. 
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