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What is a HACCP Plan?

If you are just starting a small business it’s important that you understand the ins & outs of a HACCP plan. In our continuing series of Frequently Asked Questions, we are discuss what a HACCP plan is and why it, along with HACCP Certification is so valuable.

HACCP Plan – Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points

If you have a food-based business, you would have already been familiar with the role of the FDA and  might have heard of HACCP Plan. It is an internationally recognized system of identifying and managing food safety risk. An HACCP as part of an ongoing food safety program can provide customers and your regulatory agencies confidence that your food safety program is properly managed.

Why is it important?

If you’re planning to sell your products, your governing agency will require completion of a HACCP plan for each product. Be sure to reach out to your food governance agency, FDA and/or Process Authority so you are aware of what will be required as you make packaging and processing decisions.

The goal of a HACCP plan, when properly implemented,  helps reduce the likelihood of customer complaints or a recall. The plan will help your business identify and control potential hazards which may come from raw materials, facility processes, and human error. Each food business is different,  and each will have different food safety processes and procedures.

After you have your HACCP in place, it will be valuable to get your HACCP certification. This is the process that validates your HACCP system against your documentation and against the seven principles of HACCP.  For more information on what the process involved, see Safesite’s post.

Because HACCP is an international system,  certification from a registered external certification body is required. The FDA has a list of voluntary participants in its Accredited Third-Party Certification Program.

Developing an HACCP

HACCP Mentor is one of several sites which can offer guidance on how to create and implement a plan and other food safety compliance requirements.

The Association of Food & Drug Officials is also a good resource.

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