Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a systematic approach to food safety management that helps identify, evaluate, and control food safety hazards throughout the food production process. It is a preventive system rather than a reactive one, aimed at reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses and ensuring the safety of food products.

The HACCP system consists of seven principles:

  1. Conduct Hazard Analysis: Identify and assess potential biological, chemical, and physical hazards that may occur at each stage of the food production process, from raw material sourcing to final consumption.

  2. Identify Critical Control Points (CCPs): Determine the points in the production process where control measures can be applied to prevent, eliminate, or reduce hazards to acceptable levels.

  3. Establish Critical Limits: Establish critical limits for each CCP, which are criteria that must be met to ensure the hazard is effectively controlled.

  4. Establish Monitoring Procedures: Develop monitoring procedures to regularly observe and measure CCPs to ensure they are under control and within critical limits.

  5. Establish Corrective Actions: Define corrective actions to be taken when monitoring indicates that a CCP is not under control or that critical limits are not being met.

  6. Establish Verification Procedures: Develop verification procedures to confirm that the HACCP system is working effectively, including reviewing records, conducting audits, and testing samples.

  7. Establish Record-keeping and Documentation: Maintain records of HACCP plans, monitoring results, corrective actions, and verification activities to demonstrate compliance with food safety regulations and standards.

The implementation of HACCP is mandatory for certain food businesses in many countries and is recognized as a fundamental requirement for ensuring food safety. It is widely used in the food industry, including food manufacturing, processing, packaging, distribution, and food service establishments, to systematically identify and control food safety hazards and ensure the production of safe and wholesome food products.

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