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What is HACCP and what does it stand for?

For anyone working in the food production industry, HACCP is a must-know management system. It’s focused on food safety and risk assessment, looking at production, preparation, packaging and distribution along the food chain.

The aim is to prevent potential physical, chemical and biological hazards that could contaminate food.

What you need to know:

  • HACCP aims to prevent hazards in food production
  • It is a system of management not a legislation

What does HACCP stand for?

HACCP means Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point. This can be broken down into two main processes:

  • Hazard Analysis
  • Critical Point Control

The purpose of a HACCP system is to prevent the contamination of any food stuffs produced in factories. HACCP can work alongside other certifications like BRC.

Contamination could be in the form of Salmonella appearing in food or dropped items like pens falling into food during production.

The main focus on the HACCP system is the processing and handling of raw materials. This is usually during the manufacturing and distribution of food products. But the 7 principles of HACCP also cover pest control, traceability, and hygiene training.

The 7 principles of HACCP are:

  • The completion of a hazard analysis
  • The identification of critical control points
  • The establishment of critical limits
  • Monitoring the critical control points
  • Establishing corrective action
  • Verification
  • Recordkeeping

Did you know: The HACCP system was introduced in the 1960s for NASA to make sure the quality of astronaut food wasn’t compromised. It was first used commercially in September 1972.


What is hazard analysis?

In food manufacturing and production, hazard analysis helps those in charge of the process – such as any food handlers or food safety managers - to spot potential hazards before they happen and figure out ways to prevent them.

The analysis will cover all points along the food supply and production stages – from manufacturing to delivery.

The hazards could be issues that could lead to contamination, cross-contamination with allergens, or anything that causes the final food product to be unsafe for consumption.

Once a hazard is identified, plans are put in place to help mitigate, manage or prevent it. This is often called a critical control point.


What is critical control point in HACCP?

If you’ve spotted a potential hazard in a food production process, then you can use a critical control point – or CCP – to help reduce the chance of such a hazard occurring.

A CCP could be any point in the creating or delivering of food stuffs where something might contaminate the food.

For example, this could be where two food stuffs are stored or made near each other and risk allergen cross over. In this case, you could use a HACCP plan to make sure there are separate production procedures and foods are always segregated.


Summary

HACCP means Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, and is used to help spot and resolve any areas in the production and delivery of food to prevent issues such as contamination or food spoiling.

Detectamet creates detectable items to be used in food production to help reduce the risk of hazards and food contamination.