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Building a HACCP System

What is What is HACCP? graphic?
It is a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points system which:
  • focuses on keeping food in proper time and temperature zones and free of contamination
  • identifies and controls potential problems in food handling before they can occur
  • evaluates and monitors each step in the entire food preparation process
  • works daily to provide feedback
  • eliminates or reduces risk of food borne illness
HACCP is a program developed with Pillsbury and NASA in 1969 to help keep the astronauts from getting food poisoning in space. To this day, there has not been one case of foodborne illness in space. HACCP is the system now mandated by USDA for all meat and poultry processing plants. Most large grocery chains and hospitals have had this system in place for over 20 years; however, it is becoming more popular with the large hotel and restaurant chains as it reduces liability.

Step 1: Determine

  • Hazards
  • Risks
  • Flow of food
  • Type of customers
  • Type of food
  • Suppliers
  • Size & type of operation

Step 2: Identify CCPs

  • A CCP is a critical control point. It is a practice, preparation step, or procedure where a preventive measure or control can be applied.
  • A CCP would:
    • prevent, eliminate, remove, reduce a hazard.
      For example: a chicken arrives with salmonella. Cooking the chicken to an internal temperature of 170F is a measured CCP.
    • focus on time & temperature (biological)
    • provide standard operating procedures (SOP)
HACCP Flow Chart graphic

Step 3: Procedures and Limits

  • Critical limits must be set for each CCP
  • Limits include:
    Time, temperature, ph (acidity) and other hazardous food safety requirements
  • Procedures should be clearly written and provide a simple direct action.
    Example: Check temperature. Must be at 165F or higher for at least 15 seconds.
    (Not cooked until done; it must be measurable)

Step 4: Monitoring CCPs

  • Check (monitor) to see if limits are met
  • Focus on time, temperature, pH, and water activity
  • Decide if critical limits are being met. Specify:
    • What critical limits will be monitored
    • How they will be monitored
    • How often they will monitored
  • Employees must be involved in the process and understand the CCPs.
  • Record temperatures, cold, hot, cooking, chilling at each stage (HACCP plan)

Step 5: Take Corrective Action

  • When a CCP is not being met, CORRECT IT IMMEDIATELY.
  • Many actions are simple, such as:
    • continuing to heat or cook the item
    • reheat to 165F for 15 seconds
    • change the ice bath
    • discard the item immediately
  • Must have a measurable goal

Step 6: Recordkeeping

  • A HACCP system requires the development and maintenance of a written HACCP plan.
    • Blank forms and clipboards in the work area
    • Notebooks to record the limits.
  • Keep records to prove the system is working effectively
  • Keep it simple

Step 7: Verification

  • Proves the system is working (AUDIT)
  • Re-evaluation should take place when:
    • product changes occur
    • new safety information is available
    • new items are added

Key Tools

  • HACCAP records: temp logs, CCPs not met
  • Employee feedback: recommendations
  • Regulatory agency: test results from samples
  • Repair bills or equipment invoices, audits

Challenges to HACCP

  • HACCP system must be kept up-to-date.
  • Make revisions when changes occur.
  • A change may be needed when recipes, suppliers, storage, preparation, or equipment changes,
    or when corrective actions are not working.
  • Employees need continuous training.
link to Wholesale & Retail Food Alliance on-line Food Handler & HACCP certification training
Go to Wholesale & Retail Food Alliance for
on-line training to receive Food Safety Certification.

    Take a HACCP quiz. Test your knowledge of HACCP procedures.  


email box graphicFor further information, you may email, call 1-541-997-7737, or write to Chef Steven Davis, P.O. Box 1441, Florence, OR 97439. Fax: upon request.

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