The HACCP Seven Principles

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a process control system aimed to identify and put a stop to microbial and other hazards in food production. As articulated by the NACMCF, HACCP systems should be based upon seven principles. These seven principles are:

(1) hazard analysis, (2) critical control point identification, (3) establishment of critical limits, (4) monitoring procedures, (5) corrective actions, (6) record keeping, and (7) verification procedures.

The Seven HACCP Principles
Principle 1 : Conducting a hazard analysis . During this phase, plants determine the hazards tampering food safety; identify the preventive measures to control these hazards.

Principle 2: Identifying critical control points. A critical control point (CCP) is a point in a food production process in which control is applied to prevent, eliminate, or reduce food safety hazard to an acceptable level.

Principle 3 : Establish critical limits for each critical control point . A critical limit is a specific value to which a physical, biological, or chemical hazard must be controlled. CCP separates safe food from unsafe food and also prevent, eliminate, or reduce hazard to an acceptable level. Notably, critical limits are usually numerical values based on scientific finding.

Principle 4 : Establish critical control point monitoring requirements. Monitoring of the food production process is mandatory to make sure that the process is under control at each critical control point and hazards are also in control. The process of monitoring includes temperature checks, visual inspection, time recording etc. As per the FSIS requirement, monitoring of each process is mandatory and frequency of monitoring has to be listed in the HACCP plan.

Related Training on Critical Control Points (CCP's) - Critical Control Points (CCP's). Where are they? Why? When?

Principle 5 : Establish corrective actions. In case of identifying deviation in the monitoring phase, corrective actions are to be taken to prevent the hazard. Corrective actions ensure that adulterated product injurious to health does not enter markets.

Principle 6 : Establish record keeping procedures. As per the HACCP regulations, all plants are required to keep documents including hazard analysis, monitoring of CCP, critical limits and the checking process deviations.

Principle 7 : Establish verification procedures. Verification can determine the validity of the HACCP plan and find out whether the system is operating in accordance with the plan.

On one hand, verification evaluates whether the facility's HACCP system is functioning according to the HACCP plan and on the other, it validates the HACCP plan to determine that the plan is scientifically and technically sound. Also the initial validation of the process ensure that all hazards have been recognized and assures that if the HACCP plan is correctly applied these hazards will be successfully restricted.