Seven principles of HACCP

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Seven principles of HACCP
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Seven principles of haccp is a term, which refers to the food production safety system. The acronym HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. This food industry management tool consists of preventive procedures used throughout the entire process of food production to ensure safety to all potential consumers.


Generally, the procedure of HACCP was developed to minimize the risk of occurrence of factors, which could endanger consumers health or life, during the production process. The specificity of food production requires producers to maintain extraordinary safety standards and this is the main reason why it was necessary to develop generally respected principles. The concept of HACCP appeared in public in 1971 at the conference dedicated to the problem of national food protection in USA. What is interesting, this system can be implemented not only by large companies, but also smaller enterprises (SMEs). There is also no limit to the type of food production, because it is rather a universal procedure. However, according to the researchers, the highest risk of irregularities occurs in the production of heat processed foods which are usually consumed without additional cooking before consumption, what is particularly common for the fish industry (Kirby R. 1994, p. 230).

It should be also noticed, that HACCP system provides protection of food production against chemical, biological and physical factors. This is particularly important due to the fact that the quality of food affects people's health. Moreover, nutritional awareness of consumers is increasing and they pay more attention to the production process, especially to issues related to the usage of hormones, antibiotics, pesticide residues, GMO and nitrates. Therefore, the HACCP procedure also serves to increase consumers' confidence. It includes all production stages (even storage), so that corrective solutions can be implemented immediately and this approach supports the efficiency of production (Baptista-Teixeira R., Oliveira-Matias J. C., Pombo-Marques N. R., Proença-Brojo F. M. 2012, pp. 215-216).

Seven principles

As it has been already mentioned, the HACCP system consists of following seven principles (Baptista-Teixeira R., Oliveira-Matias J. C., Pombo-Marques N. R., Proença-Brojo F. M. 2012, p. 216):

  1. Hazard analysis - identifying potential hadards at each stage of production;
  2. Identification of the critical control points (CCPS) - a crucial phase, because further steps depend on this issue;
  3. Establishment of critical limits - it affects the consistency of safety analysis;
  4. Monitoring - at this point it is assessed if CCP is adequately monitored;
  5. Correction - every detected deviation in CCP monitoring should be corrected immediately;
  6. Verification - measuring the effectiveness of the HACCP plan, based on recording and archiving systems;
  7. Documentation - it refers to the documentation storage procedure of the HACCP plan;

However, additional factors are necessary to make these principles work, especially these related to the human resources. First of all, qualified management staff, who have specialist knowledge of production risks, are required. Moreover, the senior management should be supportive for the implementation of these principles and participate in this process. In general, it requires the involvement of all company employees who should be aware of the importance of the products quality. There is also a necessity to check suppliers carefully before cooperation. It should be noticed that sometimes technical barriers hinder the process of HACCP implementation (Kirby R. 1994, p. 231).


Author: Agnieszka Wierzba