May 26, 2015

Keeping Up with the 7 Principles of HACCP

Written by SmartSense | Food Safety, HACCP

The 7 principles of HACCP are a series of guidelines that follow the rules and regulations set forth by the U.S. FDA. These are typically associated with the implementation of HACCP programs. The main priority of these guides in food service organization is the safety and protocol to keep food, employees, and customers safe in retail and food service. 


Each of the 7 principles is laid out for easy understanding. While performing a hazard analysis, defining critical control points, defining critical limits, establishing monitoring procedures, following corrective action procedures, having verification procedures, and having a record keeping system, a safe food service organization is ensured.


1. Performing the Hazard Analysis

When following the protocols, it’s important to examine the personal risks involved. Breaking down what kinds of risks are involved helps form an understanding of what needs to be done. Which of the rules of hazard and safety apply to you? Which apply to what is being cooked? Which parts of cooking, holding, and storage for food preparation need to be examined? An understanding of this not only keeps the employee safe, but those who they work with and the customers in which the food will eventually get to.


2. Defining the Critical Control Points (CCPs)

Making a specific list of the essential control points in which need to be followed is important to the safety of the space of employment. Having a set list ensures that areas that need certain practices have been followed and are being implemented.


3. Defining Critical Limits

Once CCPs are set in action, putting critical limits into regulation is a must. This includes implementing temperature parameters and keeping them monitored, paying attention to the needs for different temperatures, food types, and food preparation. Referring back to these set limits ensures that if there are any problems or abnormalities, they can easily be solved.


4. Establishing Monitoring Procedures for CCPs

Different monitoring procedures, such as monitor scheduling, manual spot checks for equipment, and keying in on environmental factors keeps critical limits in check and ensures safety in the workspace. For this, consideration of automated monitoring devices is recommended for more reliable results and ability to take humans out of the equation. Using products such as SmartSense's cellular gateway and wireless sensors give the ability to monitor temperature levels and proper operations to avoid any issues.


5. Corrective Action Procedures

Sometimes when referring back to the critical limits, not all expectations are met. It’s important if this is to happen to establish the proper corrective actions in order to solve the problem. Starting at the root of the issue, make a clear and concise list of logical steps that need to be taken, along with creating a plan for the future to avoid the issue. Making sure all employees in the line of communication in regards to the changes made to avoid any mistakes ensures safety protocols are being followed. When SmartSense’s devices detect that a threshold has been breached it will, send emails, phone calls, and text messages. Once you are alerted to the temperature change, you will need to take corrective action and take note of what actions are taken to correct the incident.


6. Verification Procedures

Having a routine of different daily activities, including employee habits and equipment observation are monitored ensures that protocols are being followed. Put these observations into comparison to the standards in which the FDA expects, and make adjustments if the HACCP plan isn’t being followed as needed.


7. Record Keeping Systems

Having information and documentation on file is important for future safety. Knowing past errors, changes, and corrections that have been taken can make it easier to keep track of along with being more efficient for inspections and internal audits of HACCP plans.


Keeping these principles in mind and following them not only ensures safety of employees, but safety of customers who are consuming the food that is being kept safe by following the principles. A guide to easily follow these steps can be viewed below. 



Topics: Food Safety HACCP

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