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What is a HACCP plan? Why do you need one?

Saro Loucks

Saro Loucks

November 11, 2022

What is HACCP, HACCP plan, food safety software, CCPS, critical limits, food safety consultants

A HACCP plan is a system for identifying, monitoring and controlling hazards that could cause foodborne illness. A well written and tested plan helps companies understand, control and reduce the risk of food safety hazards in their business.

What is HACCP?

HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. A HACCP plan is a systematic preventive approach to food safety and is used worldwide as a management system for food safety.

It helps ensure that the right controls are in place to prevent hazards from occurring, it can be tailored to suit your specific business needs, and it allows you to monitor each step of production so that you can quickly identify problems and take corrective action before those problems become an issue with your customers.
For example you are making pre-cooked frozen hamburgers and need a HACCP plan. You need a plan for every step of your process from the facility itself, the delivery of the ground beef (your supplier has their own HACCP plan), the cooking, freezing, packaging (including labeling), storing and delivery of your product. At any step of the process that a possible hazard could come up (such as needing to be cooked to a proper temperature) a control must be in place (in this case heating to a measured temperature for a specific amount of time in order to kill biologic pathogens). All these components are put into a flow chart (we have pre-made customizable  templates available on FoodReady.ai) which makes logical sense.

Each HACCP plan contains 7 principles

  1. Hazard analysis – collecting and evaluating the hazards in a food process.
  2. CCP identification – identifying the steps where the hazards can be controlled.
  3. Establishing critical limits -maximum and/or minimum value a biological, chemical or physical parameter must be controlled at a CCP to prevent, eliminate or reduce the food safety hazard to a safe level.
  4.  Monitoring procedures – measuring the temperature, time, visual appearance or other way to make sure the CCPs are controlled.
  5.  Corrective actions – steps to correct process when hazards are not controlled.
  6. Verification procedures – processes to verify tasks are being completed, for example taking photos of temperatures, filling out checklists.
  7. Record-keeping and documentation

Why do you need a HACCP plan?

First and foremost, having a HACCP plan helps you reduce the risk of food safety hazards in your products. This is especially important if you’re concerned about complying with food safety regulations such as FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act).

In addition to controlling contamination risks, creating an effective HACCP system will help ensure compliance with government regulations by helping identify potential issues before they happen—providing both peace of mind and legal protection against liability claims. A well-established plan will not only help guide employees on how they should handle their tasks but also provide training materials that show them how their day-to-day activities impact overall product quality and safety. This helps improve customer satisfaction while boosting profitability through increased efficiency without sacrificing quality standards or incurring additional costs from rework cycles due to human error or negligence on part of workers.

A HACCP plan is the central piece to many 3rd-party audits like SQF, GFSI, BRC, and GMP.

What are some benefits of implementing a HACCP?

  • HACCP is a proactive approach to food safety. You can use it to identify and control food safety hazards in your business.
  • HACCP helps you to identify and control food safety hazards. It’s a systematic way of managing food safety risk in your business by identifying points where problems could occur, taking steps to prevent those risks from becoming real issues, and monitoring the process so that any problems are quickly spotted and dealt with before they cause harm or loss of profit. This means that when you implement HACCP correctly, you’ll be able to reduce the chances of an outbreak occurring while also reducing costs associated with outbreaks.
  • Having safe quality food because you have and follow a HACCP plan will increase customer satisfaction and build brand reputation.

How do I create a HACCP plan with FoodReady software?

Well, the best way is to sign up for the free 14-day trial of our software and contact us if you would like to sign-up. Our customers range from one person operations to large companies with many locations, one of our sales leaders can answer your questions and put you on the right track. After you get signed up for a software subscription one of our food safety consultants can build your HACCP with you.

FoodReady.ai is a food safety software and consulting company. Our software has a HACCP builder, food traceability, you can create your own checklists to manage your HACCP plan or track other items, ingredients, tasks, or events. With our Enterprise program you will have access to food safety quality assurance professionals who can help you with GFSI, SQF, GMP, SOP, BRC, CGMP, HACCP, gap analysis, or prepare for audits like the Costco audit, the Whole Foods audit, Publix audit, Kroger audit, Safeway audit, Meier audit, HEB audit and more.

Try it out today!

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