‘Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points’ is a Food Safety Management System used to ensure that the food you serve to customers is safe to eat.
It identifies what (and where) things can go wrong, and where it is critical to develop control procedures. It is a legal requirement to implement a Food Safety Management System based on these principles.

The 7 HACCP principles

1 – Conduct a hazard analysis

A hazard is something with the potential to cause harm to the consumer.
There are 4 types of hazards you should consider:
– Microbiological (e.g. bacteria, virus)
– Physical (e.g. glass)
– Chemical (e.g. cleaning agent)
– Allergens (e.g. nuts)

2 – Determine the Critical Control Points (CCPs)

Determining CCPs will allow you to identify where control must be applied to eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.
For example, CCPs include chilled storage of high-risk food. High risk food is defined as food that contains protein or is ready to eat and supports bacterial growth.

3 – Establish the critical limits

A critical limit must represent your safety level, outside of which a corrective action must be taken.
For example, the maximum temperature of high-risk food in a fridge is 8°C. This temperature represents your critical limit.

4 – Establish a monitoring system for each CCP

This step will define the checks to carry out to assess whether a CCP is under control.
For example daily fridge monitoring checks with a calibrated probe thermometer will allow you to monitor your CCP.

5 – Establish corrective actions to be taken when a CCP is breached

For instance, if you have any contaminated food or food that has been held above 8°C for more than 4 hours you must discard it.

6 – Establish verification procedures to confirm the HACCP is working effectively in practice

This means obtaining evidence that the HACCP is working properly.
Auditing or monitoring customer complaints will verify the procedures you have in place.

7 – Establish documentation and records

This implies maintaining an accurate and thorough record of any procedures in place and actions taken.

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