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HACCP FAQs

Find answers to the most common questions about HACCP below. Look through the topics below and select the question to reveal the answer.

HACCP Level 3 Training Course

Our Level 3 HACCP Training course guides food safety managers and supervisors through the guidelines to successfully implement and monitor the HACCP (stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) seven principles in their workplace.

Level 3 HACCP Training Course

HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) FAQs

Get information on HACCP and explore our HACCP Resources and Training.

HACCP Definition FAQs

What does HACCP stand for?

HACCP stands for ‘Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points’.

How many HACCP prerequisites are there?

There are 12 good hygiene practices (GHPs) and practical attributes which make up the prerequisites before applying a HACCP plan, which include: a fit-for-purpose premises or structure with all necessary facilities; fully functioning equipment; technical maintenance and calibration; adequate cleaning and sanitation; physical separation of activities to prevent biological cross-contamination; procedures to control and prevent other forms of contamination within production; supplier controls; safety of water and ice; proper waste management; pest control; appropriate levels of personal hygiene and health of all personnel; comprehensive training and supervision measures.

Is HACCP a food safety management system?

Yes - the principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point) are procedures designed to create an adequate food safety management system.

What are 3 types of food contamination?

The three main types of food contamination are physical (foreign objects present in food), chemical (foreign chemical substances are present in food), and biological (living organisms such as pests or microorganisms are present in food), but there is also cross-contamination which is where any one of these contaminants can be transferred from one source to another resulting in additional risk.

What are critical control points for food safety?

Critical Control Points (CCPs) for food safety are defined as a stage at which a control measure can be applied in order to prevent or reduce the risk of introducing of a food safety hazard or risk. These vary from business to business, so you will need to create a flowchart for your business’ specific production actions to understand where these CCPs will be. This can include steps such as preparing raw meat, cooking ingredients, and defrosting food.

What are critical limits in a food safety plan?

Critical limits can be defined as the maximum safe limit that can be reached at a Critical Control Point (CCP) of whichever measurement is being taken for safety purposes, an example of which being the minimum and maximum temperatures that refrigerated food need to be stored at. If these critical limits were exceeded, it would signal an issue at that particular critical control point.

What is the purpose of food safety plans programs?

The purpose of a food safety plan program, such as the HACCP food safety management system, is to ensure businesses implement adequate food safety procedures which help protect both consumers and the businesses themselves by adhering to a set of safety principles.

HACCP Legislation FAQs

Is a HACCP plan mandatory?

HACCP plans are mandatory if you own a food business (catering, manufacturing or retail based), as dictated by Regulation (EC) No 852/2004. This states that you need to implement permanent process and uphold all the principles of HACCP, regardless of the size of your business.

What produces the food code?

The U.S. Food Code is produced by the Food and Drug Administration to help health government and local bodies develop and update food service sanitation and safety standards, and is updated every four years to account for any new regulations or observations.

How often is the food code updated?

The U.S. Food Code is updated every four years by the Food and Drug Administration to help health government and local bodies develop and update food service sanitation and safety standards.

What is HACCP food safety?

HACCP stands for ‘Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points’ and is a food safety management system, governed by a set of principles designed to help businesses implement adequate food safety procedures which help protect both consumers and the businesses themselves.

What is the purpose of a food safety management system?

The purpose of a food safety management system such as HACCP is to ensure businesses implement adequate food safety procedures which help protect both consumers and the businesses themselves by adhering to a set of safety principles.

What year did HACCP become a legal requirement?

While businesses were recommended to use the HACCP system in the 1990s, it became mandatory under Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on 1st January 2006.

Food Hygiene Resources

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Practical HACCP FAQs

How do you find critical control points?

Critical Control Points can be isolated and identified by understanding the different risks and hazards which can occur within your environment, then figuring out when and where they can happen during your food production process. An example would be during the defrosting process before cooking, and incorrect defrosting procedures can result in bacteria developing on the ingredients.

How do you write HACCP?

A HACCP plan is written by following the 7 principles of HACCP and taking action in line with your business’s food production duties. These principles include: conducting a hazard analysis; determining the critical control points (CCPs); establishing critical limits of each CCP; creating a monitoring system for each CCP; deciding upon correction actions; setting up verification procedures; and establishing documentation and record-keeping protocols.

What are the 3 types of HACCP risk?

The three main types of food contamination risk are physical (foreign objects present in food), chemical (foreign chemical substances are present in food), and biological (living organisms such as pests or microorganisms are present in food), but there is also cross-contamination which is where any one of these contaminants can be transferred from one source to another resulting in additional risk.

What are the 7 stages of HACCP?

The seven stages of a HACCP plan are: conduct a hazard analysis; identify the critical control points (CCPs); establish critical limits; monitor CCPs; establish corrective action; verification of plan outcomes; and recordkeeping.

What requires a HACCP plan?

HACCP plans are mandatory if you own a food business (catering, manufacturing or retail based), as dictated by Regulation (EC) No 852/2004. This states that you need to implement permanent process and uphold all the principles of HACCP, regardless of the size of your business.

What temperature should a delivery of frozen food be rejected?

If frozen food is delivered at a temperature which exceeds -18°C then the delivery should be rejected.

What is the 5 types of hazard?

The four types of food contamination hazards within food production: physical (foreign objects present in food), chemical (foreign chemical substances are present in food), biological (living organisms such as pests or microorganisms are present in food), and cross-contamination. Cross-contamination can involve any one of these contaminants which can be transferred from one source to another. Sources of cross-contamination can include dirty clothing transporting bacteria, using the same utensils on multiple foods, coughing and sneezing on foods and poor waste control.

Technical HACCP FAQs

Can cold kill germs?

Germs cannot be killed by freezing but will instead be put into a hibernation-like state. This temporarily stops germs or bacteria from being active, but once food is thawed, they will return to their previous activity levels.

Does cold kill fungus?

Fungus cannot be killed by freezing but will instead be put into a hibernation-like state. The mold spores are put into a dormant state, but once food is thawed, they will return to their previous active state.

Do bacteria grow well in food that is highly acidic?

Bacteria struggles to grow in acidic conditions, with acidity below pH 4.6 being especially difficult for typical bacteria strains to grow in. Any food with a low pH level, much as citrus fruits or mayonnaise, has an environment that would be hard for bacteria to grow in.

Does freezing food kill bacteria?

Bacteria cannot be killed by freezing but will instead be put into a hibernation-like state. This temporarily stops germs or bacteria from being active, but once food is thawed, they will return to their previous activity levels.

What are the 4 types of contamination?

The four types of food contamination are physical (foreign objects present in food), chemical (foreign chemical substances are present in food), biological (living organisms such as pests or microorganisms are present in food), and cross-contamination which involves any one of these contaminants can be transferred from one source to another. Sources of cross-contamination can include dirty clothing transporting bacteria, using the same utensils on multiple foods, coughing and sneezing on foods and poor waste control.

What are the critical control points in food preparation?

Critical Control Points (CCPs) for food safety are defined as a stage at which a control measure can be applied in order to prevent or reduce the risk of introducing of a food safety hazard or risk. These vary from business to business, so you will need to create a flowchart for your business’ specific production actions to understand where these CCPs will be. This can include steps such as preparing raw meat, cooking ingredients, and defrosting food.

What is the 4 hour rule?

The four hour rule is a rough guide for how long fresh, potentially hazardous foods can be kept out within the temperature danger zone (between 60°C and 5°C). This rule is that if you prepare something that uses a potentially hazardous ingredient, such as those containing meat, dairy, cooked rice or pasta, etc., then it can be kept out for around four hours un-refrigerated before it’s needed to be thrown away.

HACCP Level 2 Training Course

Our Level 2 HACCP Training course has been designed for all food industries and sectors including: manufacturing, catering, retail, packaging and distributions. This course provides learners with the knowledge to implement and maintain hygiene procedures.

Level 2 HACCP Training Course

General HACCP FAQs

What is the critical limit for cooking?

A critical limit for cooking is typically the temperature that an ingredient must reach in order to have safely killed off any potentially harmful bacteria, e.g. the centre of any meat must ideally reach a minimum of 75˚C.

How long is a HACCP certification valid?

HACCP code certificates are valid indefinitely, but it is recommended that they are renewed every 3 years.

How long should HACCP records be kept?

There is no legal minimum which dictates how long you should keep you HACCP records for, so you should decided what is an appropriate amount of time to keep them for your business.

Which food should be rejected during receiving?

Foods which carry an element of risk should be checked for temperature upon delivery, including any chilled foods and frozen foods. Any deliveries of chilled food should not measure more than +5 °C, while frozen food should be higher -18°C. If these temperature limits are exceeded, then that food within the delivery should be rejected.

What does a product flow chart show?

A product flow chart creates an easy-to-follow visual diagram of the steps in your food production process for a specific product, allowing you to accurately identify the critical control points (CCPs) in your food production process.

What is an example of a critical limit in a HACCP plan?

Critical limits can be defined as the maximum safe limit that can be reached at a Critical Control Point (CCP) of whichever measurement is being taken for safety purposes, an example of which being the minimum and maximum temperatures that refrigerated food need to be stored at. If these critical limits were exceeded, it would signal an issue at that particular critical control point.

General HACCP FAQs Continued

What do you understand by HACCP?

HACCP stands for ‘Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points’ and is a food safety management system, governed by a set of principles designed to help businesses implement adequate food safety procedures which help protect both consumers and the businesses themselves

What are the prerequisite programs for HACCP?

There are 12 good hygiene practices (GHPs) and practical attributes which make up the prerequisite programs before applying a HACCP plan, which include: a fit-for-purpose premises or structure with all necessary facilities; fully functioning equipment; technical maintenance and calibration; adequate cleaning and sanitation; physical separation of activities to prevent biological cross-contamination; procedures to control and prevent other forms of contamination within production; supplier controls; safety of water and ice; proper waste management; pest control; appropriate levels of personal hygiene and health of all personnel; comprehensive training and supervision measures.

What is the first step in creating a HACCP system?

The first step in creating a HACCP plan is creating flow diagrams of your food production process which accurately reflect all stages of production, ideally created on-site to ensure every aspect is accounted for.

What is HACCP used for?

HACCP is used as food safety management system, which is governed by a set of principles that are designed to help create standardised food safety procedures in the food industry in order to help protect consumers and businesses themselves.

What is the purpose of documenting food monitoring processes?

By documenting the food monitoring process, you create a tangible record of all the safety measures you undertake as a business. This allows you to ensure all staff are following your safety procedures, have a log which can be references in the event of an inspection, and can isolate areas where your food safety processes may be encountering difficulties so you can take appropriate actions.

Which food businesses need to implement a HACCP based food safety system?

HACCP plans are mandatory if you own a food business (catering, manufacturing or retail based), as dictated by Regulation (EC) No 852/2004. This states that you need to implement permanent process and uphold all the principles of HACCP, regardless of the size of your business.

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