The HACCP method (for “Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point”) is a method developed to guide good practices in food safety. It is an essential guide for any actor in the food industry, particularly the restaurant industry.
– In the 1960s, when NASA and the US military planned to send men into space, it was essential to control the risks associated with foodstuffs. They submitted the problem to a company, the Pillsbury Company, in particular to Mr Bauman who thus created the bases of this method.
Still in the USA, the method was adopted in 1974 by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for the training of its inspectors.
– It appears in Europe in the 90s to ensure the quality of food from fishing, then for dairy products and meat. The scope of the HACCP method was then extended, from 1993, to the safety of all foodstuffs in Europe.
– It is used by the WTO (World Trade Organization) as a reference from 1994.
– In 1995, the HACCP method is registered in the French legislation.
It became compulsory in 2006 for all French companies in the food and catering sectors. It concerns the hygiene and safety monitoring of food, from the producer to the distributor.
– Today, the HACCP method is internationally recognized to the point of having almost become a standard, which it is not.
– The objective of the HACCP is the food safety concerning the products resulting from the food-processing and restoration sectors. It is to control biological, chemical and physical risks throughout the food chain (production, storage, handling, manufacturing, distribution, processing).
– For example, avoid a food contaminated by an excess of phytosanitary product, prevent a foreign element (glass shards or other) from accidentally mixing with a preparation, that a product is refrozen, … any event that can have consequences on the health of the consumer or even the preparer.
– The HACCP is a guide (see Codex) to develop good practices in each situation. Like most quality approaches, it is based on the participation of all actors. The company and its teams must undergo training.
The HACCP method prevents 3 main risks, it is based on 7 principles, respects 5 rules, and is articulated in 12 steps.
They can be classified in 3 categories of danger for the food:
– biological hazards (viruses, bacteria … for example staphylococci, salmonella, listeria, …),
– chemical hazards (pesticides, additives, residues of cleaning products, … ),
– physical hazards (e.g. wood or glass fragments, hair, … ).
1 – Carry out an analysis of the risks and dangers.
2 – Determine the critical control points (CCP). Knowing that a critical control point can control more than one food safety hazard or, in some cases, several CCPs are needed to control a single hazard.
3 – Set the critical limit(s). For example, the maximum and/or minimum value at which a biological, chemical or physical parameter must be controlled at a CCP to prevent, eliminate or reduce to an acceptable level the occurrence of a food safety hazard, it may be a temperature, a pH, …
4 – Establish a monitoring system to control the CCP. For example, a monitoring procedure for the measurement of the critical limit at each critical control point.
This monitoring procedure must describe: – how the measurement is carried out,
– when it is carried out,
– at what frequency,
– who is responsible for it.
5 -Determine the corrective actions to be taken when monitoring reveals that a given CCP is not under control.
6 – Apply verification procedures to confirm that the HACCP system is working effectively. For example, CCP audit, review of records, calibration of instruments, product testing, etc.
7 – Compile a file including all documents related to the procedures (principles, implementation, records, …).
The plan can integrate other food safety programs (for example, GMP, or “Good Manufacturing Practices”).
Well known in quality systems, the “5M rule” is attached to the HACCP method.
M for :
– Manpower (e.g. work clothes, hand hygiene by regular washing, … )
– Environment (e.g. sanitary facilities, ventilation, … )
– Material (e.g. cleaning, storage of equipment or utensils, … )
– Material (control of raw materials, traceability, … )
– Method (e.g. storage and disposal of waste, … )
– HACCP training of the team that will do the study
– Identification of the field of study for each product
– Identification of the appropriate hygiene products
– Description of the use of the products
– Identification of the different steps in the food manufacturing process
– Evaluation of the hazards
– Identification of critical control points (CCP)
– Establishment of critical limits
– Establishment of a monitoring system and method
– Establishment of practical corrective methods
– Constitution of the summary file
– Final verification and realization of a hygiene audit following the HACCP method
Some aspects are based on the “Cleaning and Disinfection Plan” (CDP).
Companies have everything to gain by respecting this HACCP method: being in conformity with the law, the rules and the standards guarantees a good functioning of the structure.
By protecting the employees as well as the customers, the company ensures its success, its durability and its reputation. It is valued and establishes a relationship of trust with its customers.