Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a system designed to identify and prevent safety hazards during food production and distribution. It includes steps to avoid problems before they occur and correct deviations as soon as they are detected.
WHAT ARE THE 7 PRINCIPLES OF HACCP?
Once your HACCP team has completed the five preliminary tasks, their next job is to apply HACCP’s Seven Basic Principles.
1) Conduct a Hazard Analysis
Your HACCP team first identifies and evaluates food safety hazards that may occur at each stage of your operation. These hazards include any biological, chemical, or physical properties that make a food unsafe for human consumption. The goal of your analysis is two-fold:
2) Identify the Critical Control Points
Your next step is to identify each Critical Control Point (CCP). A CCP is a step in your food process where a control can be applied. As a result, any potential hazard can be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level.
3) Establish Critical Limits
A critical limit is the maximum or minimum value at which a hazard must be controlled at each CCP. Your team will set these values for key processing characteristics, such as temperature, time, and chemical level.
4) Establish Monitoring Procedures
To ensure that your company can take quick corrective action if a limit is unmet, the team institutes specific monitoring activities to confirm that hazards are under control at each CCP. These procedures include:
In this step, the team decides what actions to take for any critical deviations from an established limit. These actions ensure that no product injurious to health enters commerce by:
6) Establish Record Keeping Procedures
This principle requires formal documentation demonstrating you’ve met the critical limits at each CCP. Records can include:
Good records help you to evaluate the system, show that work was conducted according to the approved plan, and demonstrate that your products comply with state and federal regulatory requirements.
7) Establish Verification Procedures
Verification is the final, critical component of your HACCP plan. The following procedures ensure that it is both adequate and working as intended.
If your company lacks sufficient experience to identify hazards and set critical limits, it’s essential to identify external resources that can help you apply the 7 Principles to your HACCP plan.
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