What is HACCP?
A method of ensuring food safety by examining every step in a food operation, identifying those steps critical to food safety and implementing effective control and monitoring procedures at these steps.
HACCP is a preventative system that gives a high level of food safety assurance and is considered to be the best approach to producing safe food and thus preventing food-borne illness.
Need for HACCP
The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 require food businesses to ensure:
- All operations are carried out in a hygienic way.
- The “Rules of Hygiene” are complied with.
All food safety hazards are identified and effectively controlled, by :
- Analysing the identified food safety hazards.
- Deciding which hazards are critical to food safety (i.e. critical points).
- Identifying and implementing effective hazard controls.
- Monitoring procedures at the critical points.
- Reviewing the above period and when necessary.
Pre-requisites for HACCP
These must be in place in order to support a HACCP system. The University encompasses all these within its Good Hygiene Practice guidance, documentation and records which are detailed in the Food Safety Manual.
Principles of HACCP
- Conduct a Hazard Analysis: A process flow diagram is needed, detailing the steps in the operation. Hazards must be identified at each stage, together with the significance of the risks presented and measures for control.
- Determine the Critical Control Points (CCPs): Establish the points where controls are critical to food safety.
- Establish Critical Limits: At the CCPs, a measurable critical limit describes the difference between what is safe and what is not.
- Establish a system to monitor control of the CCPs: Monitoring actions, frequency and responsibility should be specified.
- Establish corrective action for when a CCP is not under control: Include actions to bring the process back under control and deal with products affected by the loss of control.
- Establish procedures for verification to confirm HACCP is working: Develop and maintain procedures to keep HACCP system working.
- Establish documentation and records: Records must be kept to demonstrate the HACCP system is working under control and corrective action is taken for any breached critical limits.