What is a HACCP System?

HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) is the internationally recognized risk-based system for managing food safety and involves identifying physical, biological and chemical hazards during food handling and preparation stage.

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The HACCP system has two major components.The “HA” of HACCP represents the logic in the hazard analysis which identifies the where and how of hazards. The “CCP” of HACCP represents the critical control points that provide the control of the process and the proof of the control.

HACCP is comprised of 7 principles that are the core of the application process of HACCP to a food safety program.

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Developing a HACCP Plan

To start a HACCP system, a company must first write a HACCP plan. Companies may use generic models as resources for developing a plant specific plan, however, the most useful and successful HACCP plans need to be developed from the very beginning from the plant that will use and implement the plan.

To develop a HACCP plan, a team of individuals from within the company, with some assistance from outside experts, conducts five preliminary steps and applies the seven HACCP principles.

The five preliminary steps are:

  1. Bring together the HACCP resources/assemble the HACCP team.
  2. Describe the product and its method of distribution.
  3. Develop a complete list of ingredients and raw materials used in the product.
  4. Develop a process flow diagram.
  5. Meet the regulatory requirements for Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s).

Seven HACCP Principles

The seven HACCP principles are the most important steps in writing a HACCP plan. The first two steps provide the foundation for the HACCP plan. These two steps are essential since application of the other HACCP principles depend on the results of the hazard analysis. The remaining five steps are the application steps of the HACCP plan and provide the structure for conducting the workings of the HACCP plan int he processing plant.

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