Glossary Item

HACCP Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Point


HACCP is a business practice designed not only to ensure safety, but also to affix responsibility. It was originally developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a joint committee of the FAO (Food & Agriculture Organization) and WHO (World Health Organization). The committee first published HACCP guidelines in 1991, and has been enhanced and refined ever since.

In the US, FDA 21CFR Part 11 regulations must be complied with to ensure that testing results can be traced back to the individual who completed the test. Other countries have similar regulations for electronic records management and electronic signatures. If you are starting a HACCP plan now (actually after September 2004) it is probably advisable to follow the ISO 22000 standard as it encompasses both HACCP and ISO 9000 safety standards.

In Canada, HACCP is part of the Food Safety Enhancement Program (FSEP).

In the US it is regulated by the FDA.

HACCP involves seven principles:

* Analyze hazards. Potential hazards associated with a food and measures to control those hazards are identified. The hazard could be biological, such as a microbe; chemical, such as a toxin; or physical, such as ground glass or metal fragments.

* Identify critical control points. These are points in a food's production--from its raw state through processing and shipping to consumption by the consumer--at which the potential hazard can be controlled or eliminated. Examples are cooking, cooling, packaging, and metal detection.

* Establish preventive measures with critical limits for each control point. For a cooked food, for example, this might include setting the minimum cooking temperature and time required to ensure the elimination of any harmful microbes.

* Establish procedures to monitor the critical control points. Such procedures might include determining how and by whom cooking time and temperature should be monitored.

* Establish corrective actions to be taken when monitoring shows that a critical limit has not been met -- for example, reprocessing or disposing of food if the minimum cooking temperature is not met.

* Establish procedures to verify that the system is working properly -- for example, testing time-and-temperature recording devices to verify that a cooking unit is working properly.

* Establish effective recordkeeping to document the HACCP system. This would include records of hazards and their control methods, the monitoring of safety requirements and action taken to correct potential problems. Each of these principles must be backed by sound scientific knowledge: for example, published microbiological studies on time and temperature factors for controlling foodborne pathogens.

      * US

      * CANADA

      * HAACP / ISO22000

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This page last updated: 08/30/2011