Developing a HACCP Plan


  1. History and background of the HACCP system
  2. History of HACCP
    • The Codex Alimentarius General Principles of Food Hygiene
    • Advantages of HACCP
    • Application of HACCP
    • HACCP and Food Safety Standards
  3. The Codex guidelines for the application of the HACCP system
    • The HACCP system
    • Definitions
    • Principles of the HACCP system
    • Application of the HACCP principles
  4. Assemble the HACCP team – Step 1
    • The HACCP team
    • Training requirements
    • Resources
  5. Describe product and identify intended use – Steps 2 and 3
    • Product description
    • Identification of intended use
  6. Construct flow diagram and on-site confirmation of flow diagram -Steps 4 and 5
    • Flow diagram
    • Plant schematic
    • On-site confirmation of flow diagram and plant schematic
  7. List all potential hazards associated with each step, conduct a hazard analysis and consider any measures to control identified hazards – Step 6 / Principle 1
    • Hazard analysis
    • Potential hazards
    • Sources of information for hazard analysis
    • How to conduct a hazard analysis
    • Control measures
    • Hazard assessment
  8. Determine critical control points – Step 7 / Principle 2
    • Critical control points
    • Identification of CCPs
    • Parameters attached to CCPs
  9. Establish critical limits for each critical control point – Step 8/Principle 3
    • Critical limits
    • Operating limits
  10. Establish a monitoring system for each critical control point – Step 9/Principle 4
    • Monitoring
    • Design of a monitoring system
  11. Establish corrective actions – Step 10 / Principle 5
    • Establishing corrective actions
    • Deviation
    • Corrective action procedures
    • Deviation and corrective action records
    • Deviation procedures
  12. Establish verification procedures – Step 11 / Principle 6
    • Verification
    • Description of verification activities
  13. Establish documentation and record keeping – Step 12 / Principle 7
    • Documentation and record keeping
    • Support documents
    • Records generated by the HACCP system


HACCP is the most widely used risk based tool for developing food safety management programs. Its principles require the user to identify potential hazards relating to a specific product or process, to determine the risk of these hazards impacting on consumers and where critical to put in place monitoring and control procedures. Developing an effective HACCP plan requires a clear understanding of the principles and specific steps involved in a HACCP study. This white paper covers in detail these requirements and illustrates how the user can build a plan capable of identifying and controlling food safety hazards relevant to your products and processes. The methodology covered in this whitepaper is based on the Codex Alimentarius Commission guidelines which is cited in most food safety standards. We have used the core document developed by Codex to assure alignment with legal and commercial requirements. We have developed this content in appropriate areas and use the Safefood 360 food safety management platform to illustrate how the requirements are met.

1. History and background of the HACCP system

1.1 History of HACCP

HACCP is the most important food safety tool employed across the global food industry. Due to its systematic and preventive approach it has gain wide spread acceptance from governmental agencies, global food standards (GFSI) and codes of practice.
The HACCP concept has its origins in the 1960s when the Pillsbury Company under the direction of the United States Army and the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) developed a system to assure the production of safe foods for the United States space programme. NASA needed to ensure that food produced and supplied to astronauts would not endanger their health during missions putting the program at risk. Needless to say, if astronauts where to become ill from food poisoning the option of pulling in to the nearest was not an option. NASA’s demand for 100% safe food was unrealistic. Pillsbury therefore developed an approach which stated that while the food could not be guaranteed as safe, the process and conditions under which it was made could be assured this maximising the safety of the products. HACCP emphasized control of the process as opposed to final product inspection and testing. Pillsbury presented the HACCP concept publicly at a conference for food protection in 1971. These principles were introduced into regulations for low-acid canned food in 1974 by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In the early 1980s, the HACCP approach was adopted by other major food companies and in the 1990’s found its way in global legislation. In recent years it has become the most commonly cited methodology for risk based food safety system in global standards including the GFSI.

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