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The Seven HACCP Principles: Retail And Food Service

Jan 28, 2014


The institution of a HACCP plan for management of food safety has long been recognized as a proactive step towards the protection of consumers and businesses alike. The creation of an alliance between the staff, the facilities and useful technology is a fundamental part of the execution. While these directives are simple to describe and understand, proper implementation and execution (particularly in retail and food service) of a HACCP plan can be tricky.

Management (focused around the concept of active managerial control) must strive to implement each of these principles as per the FDA’s direction, and further, must ensure that all important measures and obstacles are clearly communicated to all in-house personnel. The following is a brief of the FDA’s seven HACCP principles. Additional information and the full HACCP manual can be found here.


(1) Perform the Hazard Analysis:
  • -Understand your personal risks; what hazards and safety procedures apply to you?
  • -Examine cooking, holding, and storage processes and procedures and food preparation methods as well
  • -Understand the variety of control methods to inform employees and ensure safe practices, such as health policies and rules designed to keep sickened employees away from the kitchen


(2) Define the Critical Control Points (abbreviated as CCPs):
  • -Stay specific to essential control measures and the areas where practices must be implemented immediately


(3) Define Critical Limits:
  • -Includes temperature parameters and other limits that must be monitored at all times
  • -Varies by food type and preparation stage
  • -Specifically include all perishable foods and clearly highlight their upper and lower limits


(4) Establish Monitoring Procedures for CCPs:
  • -Establish a schedule for monitoring and manual spot-checks of equipment, processes and environmental factors
  • -Consider using automated monitoring devices to remove the human from the equation
  • -Always refer to the critical limits when monitoring to identify problems and anomalies


(5) Corrective Action Procedures:
  • -If critical limits are exceeded or not met, implement a plan to dissect the root of the problem, the next logical steps (discard, replace, etc) and any further actions that should be taken to prevent similar issues in the future
  • -Create a clear line of communication and tie responsibility directly to specific employees. These employees must have proper corrective action training to prevent additional accidents or mishaps. If possible, create a document that outlines the responsibilities of each employee, specific to their individual responses and actions in the event of a problem


(6) Verification Procedures
  • -Create a routine wherein observations about equipment, employee habits and other daily activities are monitored. Measure these observations against FDA best practices and the implemented HACCP plan. Adjust and revise as needed


(7) Record Keeping Systems:
  • -Whether in electronic or paper form, keep all important measurement information handy and easily accessible
  • -The documentation of errors, changes, corrective actions, and all other data points can be important for an inspection and can also be used for an internal audit of the in-house HACCP plan
Temperature@lert Compliance logging and alerting for food safety Guide


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