The Seven HACCP Principles

The Seven HACCP Principles


The first principle in HACCP is to conduct a hazard analysis. This involves studying the production process of a food and developing a list of hazards that are likely to cause injury or illness if they are not controlled. Food hazards can be biological, such as bacteria or viruses; chemical, such as toxins or antibiotics; or physical, such as broken glass or metal filings. During the analysis process, you will need to determine if any of these situations are likely to occur. The hazard analysis provides the basis for determining the critical control points

The second principle in HACCP is to determine the critical control points. A critical control point is a step in the food production process where performing a particular procedure will prevent, eliminate, or reduce the hazard to an acceptable level. If this particular step or procedure is not done correctly, it is likely to cause an unacceptable food risk.

The third principle in HACCP is to establish critical limits for each critical control point. A critical limit is a maximum or minimum value that must be met at a critical control point to prevent, eliminate, or reduce a hazard to an acceptable level. A critical limit ensures the hazard is controlled. It must be based on scientific findings or regulatory requirements. To assign critical limits, the HACCP team uses principles that are based on scientific findings and technically correct procedures that can be measured and validated.

The fourth principle in HACCP is to establish procedures to monitor the critical control points. Monitoring involves making measurements and observations that will help determine whether the critical limits are being met. Monitoring also provides a record of the safety of foods as they flow through your establishment and the preventive controls you have in place.

The fifth principle in HACCP is to establish corrective actions. Corrective actions are procedures that must be followed when a required critical limit for a critical control point is not met. If monitoring shows that a critical limit has not been met, some type of corrective action must be taken. The corrective action must ensure that the critical control point is brought back into control and that unsafe product does not get shipped. It also must be based on normal working conditions and be documented.

The sixth principle in HACCP is to establish verification procedures. These procedures are activities, other than monitoring, that determine the HACCP system is working properly. They confirm that the plan is being practiced as written.

The seventh principle in HACCP is to establish recordkeeping procedures to verify that the plan is being implemented as written and, if necessary, provide proof of regulatory compliance. Examples might include time and temperature logs, checklists, documentation of corrective actions, food flow diagrams, employee training records, control measures, and standard operating procedures.