Topic 1 General HACCP Definition

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)is a system that identifies, evaluates and, controls hazards to food safety. It is implemented by food businesses to ensure safe production, storage, and transport of food (EFSA, n.d.). The concept of the HACCP system was born in the United States between 1960-1970 and was the result of combined efforts of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and the European Commission. Hazard analysis is the first principle of the HACCP system. The effectiveness of this system depends on its correct implementation. Biological (including microbiological), physical, and chemical hazards are the three types of hazards considered (Dictionary of food safety, 2015).

The HACCP system has a preventive character, and its aim is to eliminate or reduce to an appropriate level all food health hazards which may appear from the supply of food raw materials, through their storage and processing, and ending with the distribution of ready products and meals. During the identification and evaluation of the significance of a hazard and determination of the probability of its occurrence, Critical Control Points (CCP) are determined. These are steps in the process that should be particularly monitored because of the increased risk of food contamination. Each CCP is assigned an action to be taken when the hazard occurs.

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All food establishments must develop and implement the 7 principles of the HACCP system:

  1. Carry out a hazard analysis
  2. Designate CCPs
  3. Set target values and tolerance limits for each
  4. Determine how each CCP should be monitored
  5. Develop corrective actions
  6. Establish a procedure for verifying the system to confirm that it is effective and in accordance with the plan
  7. Maintain the necessary documentation.

Throughout the world, the HACCP system is recognised as the most effective tool for ensuring food safety (Skrzypek, 2020). In 1975, the HACCP system was officially approved by the WHO, and in 1980 the same forum presented its general principles and definitions. In 1983 the system was recognised as an important tool in the supervision of food production and in 1993 it was adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. In the same year, the European Union Hygiene Directive required the member states to progressively introduce the HACCP system in the food industry (Turlejska & Pelzner, 2003).

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