HACCP in a Minute: The Essentials of Food Safety

14 Jun 2024

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HACCP in a Minute: The Essentials of Food Safety

In the fast-paced world of food production, ensuring food safety is of paramount importance. One of the most critical tools in this endeavour is HACCP, which stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. Think of it as the language of food safety. In this blog post, we'll break down the essential components of HACCP and how it helps keep our food safe.

Understanding HACCP

HACCP is a systematic approach that helps identify, evaluate, and control hazards that are significant for food safety. In its simplest form, it can be broken down into 6 practical tasks:

  1. Describe Product & Process: The first step is to describe the product and the process involved in making it. This involves detailing every step from raw material acquisition to the final product.

  2. Make a List of Hazards: The reason we start by gathering all that information is so we can make an exhaustive list of hazards—anything that could possibly go wrong in the production process.

  3. Develop a Control Plan: With a comprehensive list of potential hazards in hand, the next step is to develop a control plan. This plan ensures that there is a specific control measure in place for each identified hazard. The goal is to minimize the risk associated with each hazard to acceptable levels.

    The hazards that can have severe implications if they’re not controlled adequately are designated as Critical Control Points (CCPs). Determining if a control is critical involves a two-step process.

  4. Perform a Hazard Analysis: TThe first step involves evaluating the severity of the hazard if it were to occur, and the likelihood of the hazard occurring. Both of these are given a rating, and the product of those ratings will give you the hazard’s level of risk.

  5. Decide Whether Controls are Critical : Once you’ve determined each hazard’s risk level, the second step involves running each hazard through a decision tree to determine if they are critical or not.

  6. Strengthen Controls: If a hazard is determined to be critical, strict control measures must be implemented to ensure it is managed effectively. A lapse in controlling these hazards can lead to serious consequences, such as injury, illness, or even death. For this reason, it is essential to ensure that the control measures for critical hazards never fail. This requires a set of rules and procedures to consistently monitor and verify the effectiveness of these control measures.

There you have it—HACCP in a minute! Remember, understanding and implementing HACCP correctly is not just a regulatory requirement but a commitment to consumer safety. If you or someone on your team needs HACCP certification, check out Accredited HACCP training.