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HACCP Concept: Food Safety & Hygiene

Posted by Bertrand Duteil on 26/05/2016


The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Concept is used as an instrument to setup a self-monitoring system. It has been created to recognize, reduce and avoid risks upstream and to guarantee food safety for the consumers.

It applies to all companies selling or processing food, but also to producers and suppliers working in the following fields:

  • Food industry
  • Cleaning company
  • Packaging producer for the food industry
  • Engine builder for the food industry
  • Chemical industry producers as suppliers for the food industry

Benefits of HACCP Concept:

The HACCP Concept lists numerous benefits, including:

  • Guaranteeing the compliance with legal requirement
  • Reducing risks regarding food safety (product liability risks) and increasing food quality
  • Establishing trust with the consumers and the clients

7 principles of HACCP Concept

HACCP Concept is based on 7 principles defined by the Codex Alimentarius, a collection of norms for food safety which has been published in 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organisation of the United Nations. Those principles are the following ones:

  1. Conduct a hazard analysis: List the potential dangers which may be encountered and define prevention measures.
  2. Identify critical control points (CCPs): Define critical control points within the manufacturing process where the biggest hazards can be prevented or limited.
  3. Establish critical limits: Define one or several threshold values to control food safety (for example: temperatures).
  4. Establish monitoring procedures: Define the different instruments and systems needed to monitor the critical checkpoints - who, how often and how should the control point be checked.
  5. Establish corrective measures: Define adjustment measures to correct the values out of the threshold.
  6. Establish verification procedures: Facilitates the follow up of the control system (no control).
  7. Establish recordkeeping and documentation procedures: Reports, measures and application must be done and archived. They can be controlled later for an audit.

HACCP Certification procedure:

  1. Preliminary audit (optional): To prepare the actual certification audit, comparison of the current situation with the standards required for the certification
  2. Certification audit: An independent organism checks if the documentation required matches with the norm and if the application of the prevention catalogue has been implemented properly.
  3. Grant of the certification: When all requirements are met, an independent certifying body will grant the certification to the applying company.
  4. Monitoring audit: an annual monitoring audit will be executed to check the company and support them in their optimization process.
  5. Renewal of the certification: After three years, a new audit will be done to extend the certification

Background information:

  • 1959: Origin of the concept: It was first developed in the USA by the NASA to produce safe food for space travel. It served as basis for the HACCP Concept and has been adapted to the food industry.
  • 1998: Legal requirement in the USA for the first time for Meat producers.
  • January 1. 2006: new european regulation ruling than only food disposing of a verifiable HACCP Concept can be traded or imported in the EU (EG 852/2004).
  • Today, the HACCP concept is legally obligatory and must be documented, but the certification is optional.

More information :

EU Regulation as PDF

Whether you are preparing for an HACCP audit or you have to collect and archive documents for another certification - ecratum helps you easily manage and keep up-to-date your entire supplier, product and packaging related documentation.

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