HACCP, or Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, is a systemic approach for managing food safety.

It is used to prevent biological, chemical, and physical hazards from entering into food production processes, in order to prevent the finished product from being unsafe for consumption.

Beyond it being mandatory to have an HACCP- plan within restaurants, cafés, or food manufacturing plants, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies are also increasingly adopting this system.

What are the 3 stages of HACCP?

In order to implement HACCP for managing food safety, there are three stages, altogether consisting of 12 steps to be completed.

  1. The Preparatory stage - Within the Preparatory Stage you set up your HACCP team and have them compile and create all that is necessary for conducting your hazard analysis.
  2. The Hazard Analysis stage - At this stage, after 5 out of the 12 steps have been completed, you’re ready to begin your hazard analysis at step 6. Formally, this is the starting point from which the actual HACCP system is established.
  3. The Monitoring and Verification stage - Once the hazard analysis stage is complete with step 8, it’s necessary to set up monitoring and to confirm that all processes are under control and the established critical limits are upheld.
What are the 12 steps of HACCP?

To fully implement HACCP according to legal requirements, the a 12-step process should be followed, which looks like this:

  1. Assemble your HACCP team
  2. List all the ingredients, products and processes
  3. Identify the end-consumer
  4. Construct a complete flow diagram for each final product
  5. Check and validate the flow diagram is accurate
  6. Analyse each flow diagram for potential hazards
  7. Establish your Critical Control Points (CCPs)
  8. Determine critical limits for each CCP
  9. Monitoring each CCP’s controlling measures
  10. Set up actions for correcting exceeded critical limits
  11. Set up procedures that verify the HACCP system is effective
  12. Set up documentation and due-diligence procedures

An in-depth example by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations can be used to illustrate the process.

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