HACCP is the acronym for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point. In August 1997, an advisory group known as The National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Food established seven principles within HACCP to ensure food safety from harvest through and including consumption.
Though HACCP is not a regulatory guideline, the seven HACCP principles are found in Title 9 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) Part 417 which regulates food inspections.
What are the Seven HACCP Principles?
The 7 HACCP principle encompass a wholly designed systematic approach to identifying, preventing and controlling food hazards. The seven principles include:
- Conduct a Hazard Analysis
- Determine Critical Control Points
- Establish Critical Limits
- Establish Monitoring Procedures
- Establish Corrective Actions
- Establish Recordkeeping and Documentation Procedures
- Establish Verification Procedures
While those involved in farming, food manufacturing, production and food service where food consumption is part of service may know the seven HACCP principles, they may not necessarily understand them or understand their role in implementing them. Yet, each of the seven principles is easy to use.
1. Conduct a Hazard Analysis
For example, a farmer should conduct a hazard analysis of typical effects of soil and water contaminants on crops through regular testing.
Food manufacturers must ensure each step of mixing; blending and quality of ingredients meet compliance regulations as products pass through each phase of manufacture from production to shipping and distribution.
Food servers in restaurants must be vigilant that the ingredients they offer to consumers is safe and that food labels are accurate.
2. Determine Critical Control Points (CCP)
To understand the second HACCP principle, first determine the stages at which it is possible to apply safety controls to avoid hazards.
"Product temperature, certification of incoming product, microbiological testing, testing for foreign objects such as metal contamination, the chemical concentration of a carcass rinse or spray, and other such parameters," are included in determining critical control points.
3. Establish Critical Limits
To understand how to establish critical limits, the determination of critical control points help establish critical limits at each critical control point. The definition by the National Advisory Board of CLs (critical limits) is:
"A maximum or minimum value to which a biological, chemical, or physical parameter must be controlled at a CCP to prevent, eliminate, or reduce to an acceptable level the occurrence of a food safety hazard."
4. Establish Monitoring Procedures
This is a fairly easy HACCP principle to understand. It requires vigilance through each phase of CCP and CL and provides measurements within monitoring.
5. Establish Corrective Actions
With every HACCP phase, the end result is to establish corrective actions where there may be procedural negligence or potential for negligence.
6. Establish Recordkeeping and Documentation Procedures
In order for implementation of 7 HACCP Principles to produce results and be effective, recordkeeping and documentation procedures is necessary to provide evidence of implementation and awareness of hazard compliance.
7. Establish Verification Procedures
The final step in understanding 7 HACCP Principles is to establish formulated verification procedures by those with HACCP food safety training. HACCP training online is convenient and recommended for employers who wish to train employees for food safety to reduce hazards.
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