What is the HACCP concept?

The HACCP concept (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is a control system used in the food industry to identify and control potential hazards in the production, processing and packaging of food. The goal of the HACCP concept is to protect employees and consumers from germs and pathogens.

What are the 7 principles of the HACCP concept?

  1. Performing a hazard analysis The hazard analysis is the first step in the HACCP concept and involves identifying potential hazards that may occur in connection with food. This involves analyzing what hazards may arise from raw materials, the production environment, processes and employees. Hazard analysis ensures that all relevant hazards that may occur during food production and processing are identified and controlled.

  2. Identification of critical control points (CCPs) Critical control points (CCPs) are points in the production process where control measures must be taken to prevent the occurrence of hazards to health, or at least to greatly reduce the risk of the hazards. In this context, the number of CCPs can vary depending on how many processing steps there are and what the legal requirements are.

  3. Establish intervention limits Once the critical control points have been determined, limits are set for each control point. Limits are the maximum or minimum levels above or below which there is a risk to the health of the consumer. Establishing limit values is a critical step in ensuring that control measures at control points are effective.

  4. Establish monitoring procedures Monitoring of control points is an important step in the HACCP approach to ensure that control measures at control points are followed and do not exceed or fall below established limits. Effective monitoring allows problems to be identified early and measures to be taken to prevent hazards from occurring or to greatly reduce the risk.

  5. Establish corrective actions If monitoring determines that established limits have not been met, corrective actions must be taken. These actions are necessary to reduce the risk of hazards and to ensure that the HACCP system is operating effectively. The corrective actions are intended to prevent food that does not meet the required limits from reaching consumers.

  6. Establish verification procedures The sixth principle of HACCP states that an effective monitoring system must be established to ensure that the preventive measures established under the HACCP plan are working. This includes regular monitoring of critical control points (CCPs) to ensure they are within established limits, and monitoring and testing of products. Monitoring activities should be documented and reviewed regularly to ensure that all limits are being met.

  7. Establish documentation procedures An essential component of the HACCP approach is the documentation of information that can demonstrate the safe food manufacturing process. Specifically, records should include information on the hazard analysis, identified critical control points, limits, monitoring system, corrective actions, and verification procedures.

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