HACCP Explained

For those that are yet to come across HACCP, or ‘Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point’, it is a formal science-based system to help maximise hygiene, and therefore, safety in the food industry.

This is tested within routine Food Standards Agency inspections to make sure that you have a HACCP system in place and that it is being adhered to by everyone in your business that is coming into contact with food or food preparation surfaces.

It revolves around identifying risks and implementing controls at key stages to help eliminate those risks, or ‘food safety hazards’. This term refers to biological, chemical or physical agents that can be dangerous when consumed. HACCP is designed as a common-sense method to identify and control any potential dangers with the goal of increasing food safety and minimising the risk of hazard.

It was originally devised in a collaborative effort between NASA, the U.S Army Laboratories and Pilsbury. It was born as a way to control the safety of food that was being sent to space and made key use of NASA’s Critical Control Points procedure.


The HACCP principles are as follows:

Hazard Analysis

Identify what could go wrong.


Identify CCP’s

Identify the most important points where something could go wrong (Critical Control Points)


Establish Limits for Each CCP

This could refer to cooking temperature / time.


Monitor Your CCP’s

Monitoring is necessary to ensure that the process is under control at each critical control point.


Correct any Problems you Discover in a CCP

These are corrective actions to be taken when monitoring indicates a deviation from an established critical limit.


Put Checks in Place to Make Sure your System is Working

Validation ensures that the above points do what they were designed to do and are successful in ensuring the production of a safe product.

You should always keep records when you perform any of these steps as an inspector will ask to see these should they pay you a visit.

Your HACCP plan should be kept current and evaluated from time to time to make sure it covers all necessary procedures effectively.


See our colour coded chopping boards HERE

See our colour coded knives HERE

View the Food Standard Agency's Safe Catering Guide.



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