Hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) is a systematic and preventive food safety management system. HACCP helps to determine, prevent and control biological, chemical, and physical hazards in the food processing chain, from the raw material sourcing, production, distribution to final consumption. The Codex Alimentarius Commission of United Nations (UN) highly recommends HACCP for the food and related nonfood industries. It is used by most of the countries of the world.
Preparing and implementing the HACCP system is the primary responsibility of the food industry as they have the greatest impact on the product safety. Some specific materials such as guidelines, code of practices, models and templates are available for dairy, meat, poultry, honey bee products, food service, manufacturers of all food beverages, seafood and wine. In the USA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are regulating HACCP in their respective dominion.
Universally accepted seven common principles of HACCP are:
- Identifying hazards – Biological, chemical and physical hazards
- Determining critical control point (CCP) – Where control can be applied to prevent, eliminate or reduce a food safety hazard to an acceptable level
- Establishing critical limits for each CCP – Limits for separating acceptability from unacceptability at a CCP
- Establishing CCP monitoring requirements – To ensure that the CCP is under control
- Establishing corrective actions – Restoring control at the CCP, making decisions on product disposition and preventing re-occurrence of the CCP failure
- Verifying the HACCP system is working as intended – Within-business verification is required to ensure that your HACCP application is complying
- Establishing record keeping procedures – HACCP documentation must be correctly maintained. Records are also kept for tracking CCP monitoring, corrective actions taken and HACCP system verification