HACCP Principles

7 HACCP Principles

When you’re working with food, it’s important to ensure the quality and safety of your products with a food safety plan. Identify and control food safety hazards easily and create a food safety management system based on these HACCP principles. Apply them to your processes at every stage of the food supply chain and reduce risks as much as possible. 

HACCP Principle #1 – Conduct a Hazard Analysis

The first HACCP principle is to conduct a hazard analysis. During this phase, you need to identify all possible hazards that could likely occur during each step of your food safety or HACCP plan. This can include different stages in the food supply chain like purchasing, delivering, storing, preparing, cooking, serving, and disposing of food. You will be looking for hazards that can be prevented, eliminated, or controlled by your plan. Once you’ve identified all possible hazards, you would need to categorize them as either chemical, biological, or physical hazards. Additionally, you would need to identify the preventive measures needed to control these hazards. 

HACCP Principles - Conduct a Hazard Analysis

If you’re unfamiliar with food safety hazards, EdApp, a free mobile learning solution, has the ideal course for you. Food Safety Hazards is a three-lesson course that can be completed in as short as ten minutes. Here, you will learn different food safety risk factors and discover general safety practices that you can implement into your food safety plan right away. EdApp has other food safety courses and HACCP training online courses that could be used by you and your teams anytime and anywhere because of its cross-platform functionality.

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HACCP Principle #2 – Determine the Critical Control Points

After identifying your food safety hazards, your critical control points (CCPs) are next. A CCP is a step, point, or procedure in your plan where a control measure is applied to eliminate, prevent, or reduce a hazard to an acceptable level. A CCP may control more than one hazard at a time, or in some other cases, multiple CCPs are needed to control a single hazard. The number of CCPs needed for your plan depends on the number of steps and amount of control needed to assure food safety.

HACCP Principles - Determine the Critical Control Points

It’s important to note that not every step identified with hazards will become a CCP. A decision tree is applied to determine whether or not the step is a CCP. The decision-making process for determining CCPs can include factors like whether a control measure is really needed at this step, whether it actually eliminates or reduces the occurrence of the hazard, and whether later steps will also eliminate or reduce the hazard. Depending on the nature of your business and the equipment and ingredients used, your hazards or CCPs can still differ from similar businesses. 

HACCP Principle #3 – Establish Critical Limits

The next HACCP Principle is to establish a critical limit (CL) at each CCP. A CL is a specific measurable or observable value at which a physical, biological, or chemical hazard must be controlled. Since CCPs eliminate, prevent, or reduce hazards to an acceptable level, it’s important that each CCP has one or more CLs for each hazard. The measurable CLs are usually numerical values based on scientific findings and regulatory standards like time, temperature, weight, pH values, and more. While the observable CLs are factors like visual appearance and texture. 

HACCP Principles - Establish Critical Limits

EdApp has courses that feature lessons on proper food preparation and different food safety standards that apply in the US, the UK, and Australia that include various CLs. These courses can be edited on EdApp’s drag-and-drop authoring tool to better suit your business. No computer programming or instructional design experience is needed to add new slides or information that’s aligned with your specific policies and guidelines. If you’re having problems with the elearning authoring software, you can get in touch with EdApp’s live support team through the live chatbox on their website. 

HACCP Principle #4 – Establish Monitoring Procedures

Now that you’ve identified your CCPs and established your CLs, you need to know how you’re going to monitor and record what is happening with your measures and CLs at each CCP. The monitoring procedures are mandatory and should assess whether a CCP is under control or not. An accurate record also needs to be produced for future use and verification.

HACCP Principles - Establish Monitoring Procedures

The monitoring procedures should describe how and when the CLs are measured, as well as how frequent they’re done and who is responsible for the measurements. Monitoring techniques and procedures can be broken down into four categories: observation, sensory, chemical, and physical. Make sure that monitoring is being done regularly with the help of checklists and other documentation used to record results and findings. 

HACCP Principle #5 – Establish Corrective Actions

When monitoring shows that a CCP is not under control, corrective actions need to be taken. Corrective actions are done when there’s been a deviation in a CL and used to prevent the hazard from entering the food chain or market. These actions can either be immediate actions like throwing out contaminated food or preventative actions like performing routine maintenance or retraining staff to follow updated food safety practices. Remember to also keep a record of any corrective actions taken and communicate the occurrence to the appropriate people in your business. 

HACCP Principles - Establish Corrective Actions

HACCP Principle #6 – Establish Verification Procedures

After establishing your CCPs, CLs, control measures, and other processes, you need to regularly validate and verify your food safety system, especially before implementation and after making any changes. You need to ensure that all elements of your plan can control any hazards identified that are related to your business. Different validation methods can include a review of scientific literature, mathematical models, validation studies, or referencing guidance developed by certified authorities. Procedures also need to be established to verify that the plan is being followed accurately and efficiently. 

HACCP Principles - Establish Verification Procedures

HACCP Principle #7 – Establish Record-Keeping and Documentation Procedures

The last HACCP Principle is to establish record-keeping and documentation procedures. This is a key component because you will record information that can serve as proof that the food you produced was done so safely. Additionally, it serves as a record of successful implementation and compliance with HACCP-based procedures. The complexity of the record-keeping process will depend on the nature of your business, but you should try not to generate excessive paperwork. 

HACCP Principles - Establish Record-Keeping and Documentation Procedures

Documentation is necessary as health inspectors would need access to this documentation in cases of a health inspection. Also, employees should know where your food safety plan is located. This can include their list of responsibilities, past training records, schedules, checklists, recordings, and many more.

HACCP Principles - Establish Record-Keeping and Documentation Procedures EdApp

If you want to train your staff at regular intervals so that they’re always updated with procedures, consider using a spaced repetition website. With EdApp’s spaced repetition tool Brain Boost, you can have your staff review information at set intervals to better retain their knowledge and training. Delivery is automatic and you can even gain insights that can help you identify training gaps within your employees.  

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