Introduction HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points)

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a systematic preventive approach to food safety and pharmaceutical safety that addresses physical, chemical, and biological hazards as a means of prevention rather than finished product inspection. HACCP is used in the food industry to identify potential food safety hazards, so that key actions, known as Critical Control Points (CCP’s) can be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk of the hazards being realized. The system is used at all stages of food production and preparation processes including packaging, distribution, etc. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) use mandatory juice, seafood, meat and poultry HACCP programs as an effective approach to food safety and protecting public health. Meat and poultry HACCP systems are regulated by the USDA, while seafood and juice are regulated by the FDA. The use of HACCP is currently voluntary in other food industries.



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.

A forerunner to HACCP was developed in the form of production process monitoring during World War II because traditional “end of the pipe” testing wasn’t an efficient way to ferret out artillery shells that would not explode. HACCP itself was conceived in the 1960s when the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) asked Pillsbury to design and manufacture the first foods for space flights. Since then, HACCP has been recognized internationally as a logical tool for adapting traditional inspection methods to a modern, science-based, food safety system. Based on risk-assessment, HACCP plans allow both industry and government to allocate their resources efficiently in establishing and auditing safe food production practices. In 1994, the organization of International HACCP Alliance was established initially for the US meat and poultry industries to assist them with implementing HACCP and now its membership has been spread over other professional/industrial areas.

Critical control point

Critical control point (CCP) is the point where failure of standard operation procedure (SOP) could cause harm to customers and to the business, or even loss of the business itself. It is a point, step or procedure at which controls can be applied and a food safety hazard can be prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable (critical) levels. The most common CCP is cooking, where food safety managers designate critical limits.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) establishes minimum internal temperatures for cooked foods. It is important to remember that these values can be superseded by state or local health code requirements, but they cannot be below the FDA limits. Temperatures should be measured with a probe thermometer in the thickest part of meats, or the center of other dishes, avoiding bones and container sides. Minimum internal temperatures are set as follows:

165°F (74°C) for 15 seconds

  • Poultry (such as whole or ground chicken, turkey, or duck)
  • Stuffed meats, fish, poultry, and pasta
  • Any previously cooked foods that are reheated from a temperature below 135°F (57°C), provided they have been refrigerated or warm less than 2 hours
  • Any potentially hazardous foods cooked in a microwave, such as poultry, meat, fish, or eggs

155°F (68°C) for 15 seconds

  • Ground meats (such as beef or pork)
  • Injected meats (such as flavor-injected roasts or brined hams)
  • Ground or minced fish
  • Eggs that will be held for a length of time before eaten

145°F (63°C) for 15 seconds

  • Steaks and chops such as beef, pork, veal, and lamb
  • Fish
  • Eggs cooked for immediate service

145°F (63°C) for 4 minutes

  • Roasts (can be cooked to lower temperatures for increased lengths of time)

135°F (57°C) for 15 seconds

  • Cooked fruits or vegetables that will be held for a length of time before eaten
  • Any commercially processed, ready-to-eat foods that will be held for a length of time before eaten

In addition, hot food must be held at a minimum internal of 135°F (57°C) if it is not immediately consumed. The temperature must be checked every 4 hours or else labeled with a discard time. Although monitored hot food can be held indefinitely in this way without a food safety concern, the nutritional value, flavor, and quality can suffer over long periods.

CCP Food Safety Monitoring Systems (HACCP lite)

It is a simplified food safety programme for smaller retail operations. HACCP Australia has developed a new system which delivers a low cost, effective and easy to use Food Safety Programme. The programme is called ‘CCP Food Safety’. As the name suggests, the system is based around the critical control point (CCP) part of a HACCP Programme…..really the pointy end of food safety management.  

At around 10% of the cost of a fully implemented HACCP Programme to Codex standards, CCP Food Safety is a highly affordable alternative which provides a high level of due dillegence for food safety management.

Our CCP Food Safety Programme® is designed for stand-alone customers in the food service industry and was developed in response to strong industry demand.

Programme Benefits;

  • Improved food safety and quality through a system based on an internationally recognised risk management platform – HACCP.
  • An appropriate level of due diligence for a food handling operation.
  • Aligned with the key requirements of regulatory authorities.
  • A strong point of differentiation in a safety conscious market.
  • Peace of mind knowing that your outlet is operating to an appropriate standard and in compliance with food hygiene standards.
  • A programme which is auditable by an external party.
  • Demonstrate compliance with temperature control requirements of the national food safety standards

Food Safety Monitoring Systems model proposed by CRDSC

Seven principles of HACCP
Hence, HACCP has been increasingly applied to industries other than food, such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. This method, which in effect seeks to plan out unsafe practices, differs from traditional “produce and test” quality assurance methods which are less successful and inappropriate for highly perishable foods. In the US, HACCP compliance is regulated by 21 CFR part 120 and 123. Similarly, FAO/WHO published a guideline for all governments to handle the issue in small and less developed food businesses. The HACCP include 7 main principles:

  1. Principle 1: Conduct a hazard analysis. Plants determine the food safety hazards and identify the preventive measures the plant can apply to control these hazards. A food safety hazard is any biological, chemical, or physical property that may cause a food to be unsafe for human consumption.
  2. Principle 2: Identify critical control points. A Critical Control Point (CCP) is a point, step, or procedure in a food manufacturing process at which control can be applied and, as a result, a food safety hazard can be prevented, eliminated, or reduced to an acceptable level.
  3. Principle 3: Establish critical limits for each critical control point. A critical limit is the maximum or minimum value to which a physical, biological, or chemical hazard must be controlled at a critical control point to prevent, eliminate, or reduce to an acceptable level.
  4. Principle 4: Establish critical control point monitoring requirements. Monitoring activities are necessary to ensure that the process is under control at each critical control point. In the United States, the FSIS is requiring that each monitoring procedure and its frequency be listed in the HACCP plan.
  5. Principle 5: Establish corrective actions. These are actions to be taken when monitoring indicates a deviation from an established critical limit. The final rule requires a plant’s HACCP plan to identify the corrective actions to be taken if a critical limit is not met. Corrective actions are intended to ensure that no product injurious to health or otherwise adulterated as a result of the deviation enters commerce.
  6. Principle 6: Establish record keeping procedures. The HACCP regulation requires that all plants maintain certain documents, including its hazard analysis and written HACCP plan, and records documenting the monitoring of critical control points, critical limits, verification activities, and the handling of processing deviations.
  7. Principle 7: Establish procedures for ensuring the HACCP system is working as intended. Validation ensures that the plants do what they were designed to do; that is, they are successful in ensuring the production of safe product. Plants will be required to validate their own HACCP plans. FSIS will not approve HACCP plans in advance, but will review them for conformance with the final rule

Verification ensures the HACCP plan is adequate, that is, working as intended. Verification procedures may include such activities as review of HACCP plans, CCP records, critical limits and microbial sampling and analysis. FSIS is requiring that the HACCP plan include verification tasks to be performed by plant personnel. Verification tasks would also be performed by FSIS inspectors. Both FSIS and industry will undertake microbial testing as one of several verification activities. Verification also includes ‘validation’ – the process of finding evidence for the accuracy of the HACCP system (e.g. scientific evidence for critical limitations).


The seven HACCP principles are included in the international system ISO 22000. This standard is a complete food safety management system incorporating the elements of prerequisite programmes for food safety, HACCP and quality management system which together form an organization’s Total Quality Management.

HACCP application
• Fish and fishery products
• Fresh-cut produces
• Juice and nectary products
• Food outlets
• Meat and poultry products
• School food and services
HACCP implementation
It involves monitoring, verifying and validating of the daily work that is compliant with regulatory requirements in all stages all the time. The differences among those three types of work are given by Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food
HACCP Software
Software for HACCP (or ISO 22000) has mainly focused on a document management approach. The available software usually involve a programme which records the determination of the seven principles (or the practical 13 steps) in planning a HACCP system for an organization and associated documentations. Whilst this is useful in assisting in the planning – software for HACCP (or ISO 22000) needs to address the actual implementation of the HACCP plan and the subsequent day-to-day practical operations and management of the plan such as Critical Control Point monitoring, Corrective Action, traceability etc. Such requirement puts the software specification much closer to those of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and process control software. Aspects such as product specifications, real time monitoring of production parameters, automated alerts of monitoring jobs, corrective action required, etc are seldom integrated in the software commonly seen in the market. Data collected should also be stored in a database for easy manipulation.
Vision For Food: an integrated modular software covering all food safety aspects in any production facilities to achieve HACCP, ISO 22000, TQM and British Retail Consortium’s Global Standard for Food Safety. Vision for Food provides interactive assistance in planning, implementation and on-going daily operations and management of food safety. It runs on a SQL database and thus data collected form a knowledge database strengthening any TQM systems – easing analysis of data for process control, root cause analysis, corrective action, continual improvement, etc. Vision For Food modules include the following core functionalities:
♦ Total Quality Management
♦ Product Recipe Definition Management
♦ New Product Development
♦ Stage Gate Process Design
♦ New Product Costing
♦ Raw Material Specifications
♦ Finished Goods Specifications
♦ HACCP/ISO 22000 Design & Compliance
♦ HACCP Prerequisites
♦ Paperless Monitoring
♦ HACCP Monitoring
♦ Quality Assurance Monitoring
♦ Process Control Monitoring
♦ Production Systems Monitoring
♦ Batch Traceability
♦ Assured Quality Levels
♦ Supplier Performance
♦ Nutritional Breakdown
♦ Process Automation
MyHaccp is a work tool that manages the six prerequisite programs and the various control points of the HACCP system. It allows the HACCP team to plan, organize, execute, verify, trace and visualize all aspects of the HACCP system in the same software environment.
MyHaccpPlan is a comprehensive software for creating HACCP plans by using reliable and tested generic models. It has been thought and developed specifically for helping HACCP Coordinator in the development and/or the maintenance of HACCP plans.


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