7 Basic Principles Of HACCP

Food Safety & Quality

Christina Marantelou

Agriculturalist - Food Scientist, M.Sc. Nanobiotechnology

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HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is a systematic method for identifying, assessing, and controlling risks to food safety that relies on the following seven basic principles:

1.Conduct a Hazard Analysis

  • Identify all potential hazards that may occur at each step of the food production process.
  • Evaluate the potential consequences of each hazard if it were to occur and determine the likelihood of each hazard occurring.
  • Calculate the risk level for each hazard by multiplying the severity and likelihood scores. This will help prioritize which hazards require immediate attention.
  • Consider biological, chemical, and physical hazards that could pose a threat to food safety.

2.Identify Critical Control Points (CCPs)

  • This scientific idea is built on the evaluation of risks to food safety using a control system.
  • This preventative method analyses the physical, chemical, and biological risks that have an impact on every step of the food chain (1, 6, 7).
  • CCPs are the points in the production process where control measures can be applied to prevent, eliminate, or reduce hazards to acceptable levels.
  • Food operators need to identify CCPs accurately to apply control measures and potential food safety risks.

3.Establish Critical Limits

  • Critical limits are the criteria that must be met to ensure that CCPs are under control. These limits are typically based on scientific evidence, regulatory requirements, or industry standards.
  • Failure to establish appropriate critical limits can compromise food safety and increase the risk of foodborne illness.

4.Monitor CCPs

  • Monitoring CCPs involves regularly observing and measuring processes to ensure that critical limits are met.
  • This monitoring is essential for verifying that control measures are effective in preventing hazards from contaminating food products.
  • Without proper monitoring, food operators may miss deviations from critical limits, leading to unsafe food products reaching consumers.

5.Implement Corrective Actions

  • When deviations from critical limits occur, operators must take corrective actions to address the issue and prevent unsafe food products from reaching consumers.
  • Effective corrective actions help mitigate the potential impact of deviations and maintain the safety of food products.

6.Establish Verification Procedures

  • Verification involves confirming that the HACCP system is working effectively.
  • This includes validating that control measures are adequate, verifying that monitoring procedures are being followed correctly, and reviewing records to ensure compliance with HACCP requirements.
  • Verification procedures ensure that the HACCP system is functioning as intended and help identify any weaknesses or areas for improvement.

7.Create Documentation and Recordkeeping

  • Documentation is a critical aspect of the HACCP system, as it provides a record of the entire food safety management process.
  • Keeping detailed records of hazard analyses, CCPs, critical limits, monitoring results, corrective actions, and verification procedures is essential for demonstrating compliance with food safety regulations and standards.
  • Documentation also facilitates traceability and recall efforts in the event of a food safety issue.


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