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The Seven HACCP Principles


09, 2013

eLearning, Food Safety, HACCP, HACCP 7 Principles

To better understand and further my preparation of HACCP training, I thought it would be

in good order to write out, in my own words, what the HACCP principles mean to me, not
as a member of the business development group of people working in food and

pharmaceutical but as someone that has spent a huge amount of time invested in
developing online HACCP training courses and has become passionate about the
subject. I will be starting my formal training as of August 19th taking HACCP I:
Prerequisite Programs at the GFTC. I will finish by taking the Train the Trainer in
In no way was the development a solo project, I have the honor of working with some of
the industrys best tenured knowledge experts.

I became impassioned by this system as it brought another level of operational

improvement into a clearer focus which I think is at the heart of the responsible,
concern for customer, concern for the employees, concern for their brand,
and concern for cost effective solutions business model. of overall food safety. I am

not a food safety expertyet

The most interesting and exciting thing about HACCP is its flexibility. HACCP systems are a
group of plans that are well understood and represent the true spirit, the quality, safety,
facility, operation, purchasing knowledge, and most other departments in the food and
beverage related industries. This certainly doesnt exclude all of the other support
industries like packaging, transportation, logistics, legal, etc. Any type of company that
deals with food and food related products.

If companies are to truly establish a food safety plan, HACCP is a great system to begin
with. It serves as a common sense base and it helps get your documentationin order. It
helps in the very beginning by helping to recruit team members. It help identify hazards
and finally, puts monitoring in place to ensure that processes run in an acceptable manner
with risk of contamination. Everyone might want to consider adopting a HACCP plan or
some kind of food safety plan to show readiness and to deal with food safety issues in a
competent, professional and effective manner.
All of HACCP is based on proven formulas focussed on preventing and correcting risk to
food safety. HACCP really is good common sense. For example it is common sense to check
water supplies for hazards and guard against them. If you dont have good water you have
a major problem in the food and beverage industries.

Conduct a Hazard Analysis
The first principle, is a plan of two-parts.
Step one. Identify and draw a plan indicating all of the hazards. Hazards are anything that
could cause the product to become unsafe for human consumption.
Certain chemicals, pathogens and physical objects pose hazards to human health when
ingested. For example a hazard may be a faulty ballast that can drip lead, a faulty cog
could be grinding off bits of metal and falling into the food, it may be a pathogen that had
been introduced through the network of a raw material supplier that had not been properly
investigated and documented, or by an infected staff member that otherwise looked
Step two. Identify all of the potential procedures that would control identified hazards.
Examples: Adopt a maintenance program that will ensure the adequate repair of the faulty
ballast. Adopt a purchasing policy that involves requesting of your supplier and receiving
the appropriate documentation and inspecting each arrival with attention to detail making
sure that everything checks out, that includes that documentation is in good standings but
should also include verification of temperature indicator labels, conducting a visual
inspection of the transporter for cleanliness and order. Encourage team members to be
vigilant about food safety, give them articles to read and ask them to become involved in
improving their knowledge of food safety. Being aware of and able to act if they identify an
ill worker or a worker suspected of hosting an infection.
The second step of principle one really means having a plan of action for each hazard.

Determine the Critical Control Points
The second Principle is to identify critical control points in your system. A critical control
point is a point, step or procedure at which controls can be applied and a food safety
hazard can be prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels. Some of the most
common Critical Control Points (CCPs) are temperature i.e. cooking and freezing, time,
effective hand washing, humidity and sanitation. Having too few or too many CCPs may
not be good.
Examples: Cook soup to a certain temperature and keeping it there for a certain amount of
time potentially killing off any pathogen. Wash hands effectively to remove as much dirt
and pathogens including allergens.

Establish Critical Limits
The third principle is establishing critical limits for each critical control point. Establishing
critical limits means knowing what those limits are and following authority and industry
guidelines when establishing your standard operating procedure. A critical limits is the limit
at which a hazard is acceptable without compromising food safety.
Examples: Establish the temperatures and time limits for cooking soup. Establish
temperature and time limits for holding soup. Establish good hygiene practices, use the
most current and effective hand washing techniques.

Establish Monitoring Procedures
Principle four is establishing monitoring procedures for critical control points. Establishing
monitoring procedures means ensuring consistent and detailed monitoring activities. This
principle is essential to make sure the process continues to operate safely and within the
critical limits at each critical control point.
Example: monitoring procedures at a cooking critical control point (such as at a certain
time on the cooking process, take the internal temperature of the soup with a specialized
thermometer. Train employees on proper hand washing techniques and ensure that you
post directions and reminders to help maintain proper procedures.

Establish Corrective Actions
Principle five is to establish corrective actions. Actions must be taken to remediate the
production process if monitoring indicates that a deviation from a critical limit has
occurred. Correcting problems during the process rather than at the end-stage or finished
product is far more effectual than testing finished products and determining if they are
acceptable for human consumption or meet any other required standard. Principle five is
crucial to the success of the operation.
Example: While cooking the soup the internal temperature does not reach the critical limit
the corrective actions might be to continue cooking until the temperature in reached, to
increase the temperature or destroy the soup destroyed.

Determine / Establish Verification and Documentation
Principle six is establishing verification and documentation procedures. Establishing
verification and documentation procedures means employing methods, procedures, tests,
sampling, monitoring and other evaluation techniques to determine whether a control
measure at a critical control point has been or is operating as defined by the critical limit.
Verification activities moreover ensures that the monitoring and the corrective actions are
done according to the companys written HACCP program. This record keeping system
must effective thus ensuring that all measurements taken at each CCP and if any
corresponding corrective actions are documented and kept on file.

Create Record Keeping and Documentation
Principle seven is to create documentation that can ensure that a systematic verification
can occur. There are three steps involved:
Step one. Validation. This is the science and technical process for determining that a CCP
associated with a critical limit are acceptable and sufficient to control likely hazards.
Step two. On an ongoing basis ensure that the HACCP system works properly.
Step three. Reassess and document the HACCP plan periodically.

Verifying the HACCP plan ensures that it is being properly implemented. This step
ensures that the monitoring is accurate of the CCPs. Verification must be done in
periodic intervals. By testing all of the monitoring systems implemented in
Principle four using other methods, techniques, tests and procedures it can be
determined if the monitoring systems need calibration.
If you are interested, Ill be writing out the 12 steps within the next week or two.
Stay tuned!

To view one of the online courses I have developed please click on the image!