The current requirements of institutions and consumers revolve around safer foods, and industry has a responsibility to meet their expectations. In fact, the European Commission has given special priority to food safety, so the industry must adapt and meet the conditions to ensure this safety. This is why it is vital to implement an HACCP plan.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Knowing the HACCP plan (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is essential to prevent biological, chemical and physical hazards in the food supply chain, to safeguard the safety of food and water (but also of other products for human consumption such as pharmaceuticals or cosmetics). Thus, it is a prevention system rather than an inspection system when the product is already finished.

The HACCP plan, an European directive

Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 sets out in Article 5.1 that food business operators should establish and operate food safety programmes and procedures based on the HACCP principles.

The 7 core pillars of the HACCP plan

  • 1. Detect hazards avoidable, eliminable or controllable
  • 2. Identify critical control points in which control is essential to prevent, eliminate or control a hazard
  • 3. Establish critical limits that differentiate the acceptability of unacceptability for prevention at each critical control point
  • 4. Establish critical control point monitoring
  • 5. Establish corrective actions when monitoring indicates that a critical control point is not controlled
  • 6. Establish verifying procedures for ensuring the HACCP system is working as intended
  • 7. Establish record keeping procedures to prove the effective implementation of the above measures

We need to remain vigilant

When a modification is introduced in the product, in the process or in any of its phases, the food business operators must review the procedure and introduce the relevant changes in it, therefore it is necessary that they know the HACCP system well and are in continuous formation.

Did you know that...?

The HACCP plan is considered to have its seed in the production process monitoring that was carried out with armament during World War II. A large percentage of artillery shells were defective and a systematic and preventive approach to manufacturing was needed to ensure the quality of the product before it was finished. Later, in 1960, it was consolidated by NASA for the design and manufacture of the first foods for space missions.

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