What Is an HACCP Plan? A Simple Guide

what is an haccp plan hazard analysis critical control points certificate

If you work in the food industry, you know that food safety is of the utmost importance. That’s why many businesses within the food industry implement a HACCP plan. 

If you don’t know much about HACCP and how it works, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s your quick and simple guide to HACCP and how it’ll benefit your business.

The HACCP Plan Breakdown

HACCP is an acronym for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. It centers around food safety to mitigate any risks associated with the food we eat in terms of chemicals, bacteria, physical hazards, and so on. The HACCP plan analyzes these products from start to finish with raw material production, namely the catching and raising of fish and livestock for food.

That means everything is monitored for the aforementioned chemicals, bacteria, and physical hazards to keep our once alive food safe for consumption. There’s an entire HACCP system in place to provide vendors of live food sources with the proper certifications, and it’s all based upon certain principles.

The Principles of HACCP 

According to the Institute of Agricultural and Natural Resources, the principles that must be followed in a HACCP program are as follows:

  • Conduct a hazard analysis
  • Identify the critical control points (CCP)
  • Establish critical limits
  • Monitor said critical control points
  • Take corrective action (when necessary)
  • Verify critical control points and corrective action taken
  • Keep and maintain records of all of the above

As important as HACCP is, it’s a smaller part of a larger system. You can think of it as a technical approach to a food safety management system. That would actually include two food safety management systems—FSSC 22000 and ISO 22000. 

HACCP isn’t just necessary for processing our live foods. It’s a strict requirement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

The Benefits of Having a HACCP Plan

Aside from the fact that HACCP plans are technically a mandate in the food industry, they’re also quite beneficial to your business. The benefits of having and utilizing a HACCP plan include:

Providing Your Customers with Safe Food

The last thing you want to do is make your customers sick. Not only would that hurt your businesses—especially if you get sued—but you’d also be putting lives at risk.

Trust us, food contamination is serious, and it’s not as rare as you may think. At least one in six people are affected by food contamination. By implementing and executing a HACCP plan, you can lower the risk of poisoning people significantly.

Remaining in Compliance with the Law

In the US, HACCP is a legal requirement. However, not all businesses follow this requirement. That puts them at risk for being found non-compliant, receiving fines, and potentially getting shut down. 

Building a Solid Reputation

Having a HACCP certification and plan lets your customers know you care about their health and safety, which will keep them loyal. HACCP is also an internally recognized food safety approach. That means if you want to expand your business internationally, having a HACCP certification will go a long way.   

Having Control Over Your Food

Forming and implementing a HACCP plan allows you to have a hands-on approach to food safety. That means that you and your team will have full control over the entire process, ensuring that the procedures are carried out properly. It also means you don’t have to worry about putting your trust in an unseen third-party. 

Get Food-Safe

Food safety is critical, which makes having a HACCP plan and certification essential. By not having a HACCP plan, you’re jeopardizing your business and your customers’ well being.

For more information on HACCP planning, you can read through the FDA appointed guidelines. For more business, finance, marketing, and entrepreneur-related articles, check out the rest of our site.