What is haccp principles ?
Haccp principles are procedures and standards which are used to reduce the number of microorganisms in food. Haccp principles are designed to prevent contamination and ensure that food-borne illnesses do not occur by controlling the levels of microorganisms present in raw materials, during processing, packaging, and storage.
HACCP Principles- Why You Should Know Them and How You Should Follow Them
What are Food Safety Hazards?
The food industry has to ensure maximum safety in the food production and processing to ensure that the final product adheres to the food safety guidelines and is safe for consumption. There are number of possibilities which can cause food contamination which may adversely affect the consumers and the contaminants which can affect the safety of the products are known as food safety hazards. There are three types of safety hazards biological chemical and physical.
A biological food safety hazard can be described as a naturally occurring microorganism which can contaminate the food. Biological safety hazards bacteria, viruses and parasites are harmful and can cause food borne illnesses.
A chemical safety hazard can occur during harvesting, storing, preparing or serving a food item. There is a possibility that chemicals used for pest control or cleaning and sanitising the kitchen area may get mixed in the food and cause contamination.
A physical food hazard can be caused by accidental contamination or poor food handling. Contamination may occur when pieces of unedible items such as hair, glass, metal shards or chips of broken food containers get mixed with food.
HACCP Plan in Food Service- What's it About?
An important aspect of the food production and processing is food safety and hygiene as the restaurant has to make sure that the food is safe for consumption.
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point or haccp is an important control point to maintain food safety as it takes care of potential safety hazards such as biological chemical and physical contaminants of production. AHACCP plan is food safety management system for the food industry that identifies and controls biological chemical physical hazards while the food is being produced stored, transported, prepared and sold. A food business needs a specific safety plan for each food and processing system.
You’ve heard about HACCP, but you’re not quite sure what it is and why it’s important.
This article will take you through the 7 HACCP principles and give you a step-by-step guide on how to implement them in your own organization.
What are the 7 HACCP Principles?
If a restaurant wants to implement a HACCP plan to make sure that they are complaint with the Food Safety guidelines then they have to follow the seven HACCP principles which establish critical limits in food processing system to prevent any safety hazards.
Here are the seven principles of HACCP which form the basis of HACCP plans-
1. Conduct hazard analysis- Identify the food safety hazards in the establishment and what can go wrong during food production. The food safety plan will also include justification for safety hazard and possible control measures.
2. Identify critical control points- A critical control point is a step which will reduce the possibility of a food safety hazard. The HACCP team has to pinpoint and establish the critical control points depending on the food processing steps and the checks required to ensure food safety.
3. Establish critical limits- A critical limit is the value to be set to prevent or reduce possibility of a food safety hazard. The critical limits in a HACCP food safety process are based on set standards and usually set for cooking temperature, water levels, weights.
4. Monitor critical control points- Set up procedures to monitor each of the critical limit set for each step in a HACCP food plan. The system lays out steps to be taken for how the measurement will be taken, who will take the measurement, the frequency of the measurement. Monitoring procedures should have simple, clear and easy steps.
5. Establish corrective actions- A corrective action is a step taken to check any deviation during food production. List out steps to be taken to reduce chances of food hazards entering the food production process, establish an acceptable level of deviation from the process and corrective action for the deviation.
6. Set up verification procedures- Set up a process to verify each step of the monitoring system with activities such auditing critical control points, reviewing records, checking instrument calibration and product testing. The process will make sure that the food safety plan set is place as per each HACCP principle is working. There should be periodic checks to see if any changes are needed.
7. Set up record keeping system- Keep a record of all the appropriate documentation required to operate HACCP plan. The details of record keeping will depend on the nature and complexity of the food business.
Why is a HACCP Plan Important?
A restaurant needs to have a HACCP plan in place as it is a system to reduce and control occurrences of potential hazards in food production.
Listed below are the reasons a HACCP plan is important for a restaurant-
1. A HACCP plan implements checks to control potential hazards in the food production and processing system. It focuses on preventing and controlling safety hazards rathe r than just inspection.
2. A food safety plan based on HACCP principles helps control food safety hazards such as biological chemical and physical contaminants.
3. A HACCP safety plan establishes a framework to make sure food is produced in adherence to food safety guidelines and also establishes proof of the process.
4. A HACCP food processing plan establishes critical control points to cover all potential food safety hazards and also increases consumer trust as many customers prefer a food business which have a HACCP certification.
5. A HACCP plan also establishes a system for storage of food products so that the control points for storage be it dry foods or storing items in a Food Refrigerator can be set and followed.
6. A HACCP plan for a food business is a cost-effective system to control food safety in production, storage and distribution and sale.
How Can Restaurant Implement a HACCP Plan?
Once a restaurant has decided to opt for implementing a HACCP plan, they now have to focus on how to write and implement a HACCP plan that can adhere to the food safety guidelines and also suit the unique requirements of the food business.
1. Identify the potential hazards- A HACCP plan is meant to check and control food safety hazards. The first step to write a HACCP food plan is to identify all potential hazards, list the possibility of these safety hazards occurring and the degree of damage they can cause. Some potential hazards are contaminated raw materials from vendors, contamination due to poor handling, improper kitchen and personal hygiene and improper food processing.
2. Set critical control points levels- After identifying the potential hazards, the next step in the flow diagram is to set critical control points which are a HACCP plan's defence against safety hazards. Evaluate each step to identify which parameter can be a critical control point. Set acceptable levels for each critical point like thawing of food, storage of food, reheating items.
3. Establish critical limits- A critical limit in a HACCP plan is the lowest and highest acceptable level value for a control point. An example of a critical limit can be the minimum and maximum cooking temperature for raw meats and level of deviation allowed.
4. Establish checks- The HACCP team should establish monitoring procedures which can serve as documentation for the operations and proof of a well-worked out HACCP plan. Monitor and create logs for temperature checks, critical limits and deviations.
5. Set up system for corrective actions- Corrective actions in a plan based on the HACCP principles aim to control the operations if there is a deviation and address any food safety hazard. An example setting up a corrective action system is temperature check. If a thermometer is not measuring the internal temperature while cooking then the corrective action would be let to the food cook for a little more time as per the established HACCP food plan and use a backup thermometer to get a reading again. Then make sure that all the thermometers are recalibrated to avoid a repeat.
6. Verify the HACCP plan- Once a HACCP plan has been implemented, it is necessary to make sure that the food safety plan is working. A restaurant can verify if the plan is working by opting for a HACCP certification.
7. Keep immaculate records- Record keeping is a must for a HACCP plan as every monitoring, revision, deviation, corrective action record must be properly documented. The HACCP team has to maintain these documents for at least two years. Proper documentation is a key to guarantee that your food business has successfully implemented the HACCP plan.
Foodborne illnesses are on the rise, and they can be deadly. You want to know how you can prevent them, but you’re not sure where to start.
HACCP principles can help you meet the highest standards of food safety. This article will show you how to implement them.
Top 3 Software That Help a Restaurant Implement a HACCP Plan
After discussing the benefits of implementing a HACCP plan to establish critical control limits for a food management system, a restaurant has to look at solutions which can make it easier to set up a HACCP plan. Here are the top software that can help a restaurant implement a HACCP food plan-
1. Zip HACCP- The food safety app from Hubworks business management store app assists users to make sure food quality is maintained by tracking HACCP tasks. Zip HACCP allows its users to manage food safety using mobile or tablet devices. The software can be synced on all devices, which allows remote tracking and letting users know of there is any issue. The app can customize food safety audit checklists, address food safety issues in real-time and generate real time reports.
2. iAuditor- A cloud based software which uses customizable templates to implement changes instantly with HACCP checklists in real time as per the HACCP plan. The software allows customisation of HACCP checklists and access to food safety inspection templates and gives real time feedback and automated reports. Competitive price point for a HACCP software
3. FoodLogiQ- The food safety solution aims to ensure that food production processes can be traced end-to-end by their users. The software can be accessed on web, iOS, and Android and helps users identify and address food safety issues swiftly. The app also offers tools for supplier management and record keeping.
Food Safety FAQs
What are important HACCP terms?
These are few of the terms used while forming a HACCP plan
Food Safety Hazard- Any biological chemical or physical contaminant that can cause illness or injury
Monitoring procedure- Process used to check if critical control points are under control and producing an accurate record for future verification
TCS food- Food that requires time and temperature control for food safety.
What is the difference between food safety plan and HACCP plan?
HACCP plan requires validation by an external certification body but a food safety plan requires validation such as collecting evidence that specific critical controls points are effective to control safety hazards.
When you’re in charge of a food-related business, you want to make sure food safety is taken care of.
The best way to do this is by making sure your establishment follows HACCP principles. Learn all about them here.