The seven principles of a HACCP

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points

Developed in the 1960’s in conjunction with NASA as part of their space program, the HACCP system is a scientific and systematic approach to identify, assess and control hazards in any production process.

While the HACCP system is often integral to food & drinking manufacturing safety control, its principles and procedures can provide a preventive and cost-effective method of contamination risk management in many manufacturing sectors.


Hazard Analysis

Assess the hazards, identify any hazardous biological or chemical risks, or physical property in raw materials which could compromise the end product. Assess the processing steps, and the likelihood that contamination could occur.

Principle 1

Determine critical control points

Establish critical control points. These are points in the manufacturing process at which control measures can be applied and, as a result, contamination can be prevented, eliminated, or reduced to an acceptable level. Not every point identified will become a critical control point, a logical approach needs to be applied based on risk, likely occurrence, level of potential contamination and process impact.

Principle 2

Establish limits for critical control points

Limits for a critical control point is the criteria which separates acceptable from unacceptable. It is the maximum or minimum value to which a physical, biological, or chemical hazard must be controlled at a critical control point to prevent, eliminate, or reduce the identified hazard. These limits could include temperature, humidity, water content, or pH value. The limits should be measurable.

Principle 3

Establish monitoring procedures for critical control points

Monitoring is a planned sequence of observations or measurements to assess whether a critical control point is under control and to produce an accurate record for future use in verification. Monitoring is very important for a HACCP system. Monitoring can warn the plant if there is a trend towards loss of control so that it can take action to bring the process back into control before the limit is exceeded.

Principle 4

Establish corrective actions

Corrective action is an action taken when the results of monitoring at the critical control point indicate that the limit is exceeded, i.e. a loss of control. The HACPP system demands that the process management must determine in advance what corrective actions would be taken when deviations from established critical limits occur, taking corrective actions immediately.

Principle 5

Establish verification procedures

Verification is the application of methods, procedures, tests and other evaluations, in addition to monitoring, to determine compliance with the HACCP plan. Some examples of verification are the calibration of process monitoring instruments at specified intervals, direct observation of monitoring activities, and corrective actions.

Principle 6

Establish a record system

Maintaining proper records is an essential part of the HACCP system. A complete HACCP system should include records for critical control points, establishments of limits, corrective actions, results of verification activities, responsibilities and the HACCP plan including hazard analysis.

Principle 7

For useful information and guidance on implementing HACPP you can visit the Food Standards Agency MyHACCP site here