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Understanding the HACCP System

Understanding the HACCP System

Food safety is a critical component to any restaurant operation. Seasoned veterans of the industry will immediately think of OSHA, health codes, and the HACCP system. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points and is one of the lesser-known yet equally important systems for regulating food safety. Having a thorough understanding of the HACCP system will ensure that your restaurant stays on top of its game when it comes to food safety!

The Origin of the HACCP System

Everything has a beginning, and it seems that the HACCP system dates to the World War II era! Stemming from a production process during bomb making, the system’s essential setup derives from the efforts of WWII soldiers to reduce the ‘end of pipe’ testing originally done on artillery. Because many of the shells were misfires or duds, they utilized a preventative process to address issues before they ever reach the final testing phase.

In the 1960s, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) asked Pillsbury to design and manufacture the first foods for space flights. Consider that once the food is in space, there’s no real good way to sort out hazardous products! Thus, at this time, the HACCP system was born and put into use. Using risk-assessment, the HACCP system has been known as a logical tool for preventing food safety hazards. This differers from the traditional ‘sort and pull’ quality control method, helping to address problems before they ever reach the final products.

A Systematic Preventative Measure

The HACCP system is an organized way to detect possible food safety hazards including biological, chemical, and physical issues that may arise in the production process. Rather than a finished product inspection, the HACCP system nips issues in the bud, helping to ensure a safe final product. Meat HACCP systems are regulated by the USDA, while seafood and juice are regulated by the FDA. Other food industries utilize the HACCP system on a voluntary basis.

The standard principles to the HACCP system are as follows:

  1. Conduct a hazard analysis.

  2. Identify critical control points.

  3. Establish critical limits for each critical control point.

  4. Establish critical control point monitoring requirements.

  5. Establish corrective actions.

  6. Establish procedures for ensuring the HACCP system is working as intended

  7. Establish record keeping procedures

The seven HACCP principles are included in the international standard ISO 22000 FSMS 2005. By integrating the HACCP system with other food quality and food safety measures, you can make sure that your restaurant is providing safe, hazard-free meals!




E Friedman Associates

(917) 335-1127



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