What is HACCP?

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) is an internationally recognized method of identifying and managing food safety related risk and, when central to an active food safety program, can provide your customers, the public, and regulatory agencies assurance that a food safety program is well managed.

HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.

Today, many of the world’s best manufacturers and vendors use the system as a basis for their food safety management programs and for compliance with GFSI audit schemes.

Through analysis of hazards and where they can occur, Safe Food Alliance of California helps implement systems and procedures to minimize risk. Safe Food Alliance provides a truly hands-on food safety management system at each and every operation in assisting in the management of critical control points.

A food safety program, however, does not just stop with HACCP. To be effective, prerequisite programs such as pest control, traceability & recall, hygiene and sanitation need to be developed and implemented. Additionally, the issue of ensuring that suppliers and distributors also have a food safety program needs to be addressed through development of ingredient specifications and a vendor assurance system.

Why is a HACCP program important?

Proper implementation of a HACCP program helps reduce the likelihood of customer complaints or a recall by identifying and controlling potential hazards which may  come from raw materials, facility processes, and human error.  The greater employee awareness that results from a HACCP program helps to drive continual improvement of a company’s products and processes.

Additionally, the HACCP principles are in alignment with the requirements of the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rule for food processors — Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls (“HARPC” or “Preventive Controls”).  Although a HACCP plan does not meet all of the requirements, it meets the majority of the requirements and is the best platform from which to build a FSMA-compliant management system.

The Five Preliminary Steps for Developing a HACCP Plan

  1. Assemble a HACCP team
  2. Describe your product
  3. Identify the intended use of your product
  4. Construct a flow diagram
  5. Conduct onsite confirmation of the flow diagram

The Seven Principles of a HACCP Plan

  1. Conduct hazard analysis
  2. Identify critical control points (CCPs)
  3. Establish critical limits for each critical control point
  4. Establish critical control point monitoring requirements
  5. Establish corrective actions
  6. Establish record keeping procedures
  7. Keep records for verification