Hazard analysis and critical control points, or HACCP, is a systematic preventive approach to food safety and biological, chemical, and physical hazards in production processes that can cause the finished product to be unsafe, and designs measurement system to reduce these risks to a safe level

HACCP is built around seven principles:

Analysis of food hazards: biological, chemical or physical.

Identification of critical control points: raw materials, storage, processing, distribution and consumption.

Establishment of critical control limits and preventive measures: for example, minimum cooking temperature and time.

Monitoring of these critical control points.

Establishment of corrective actions.

Keeping records.

Systematic and regular auditing of the system in place by independent third party certification bodies.

In addition to meeting the legal and moral obligation to produce food that is safe to eat, HACCP offers a variety of other benefits for not only the consumer, but for the food industry and the government. The following are examples of benefits that may be gained by implementing a HACCP program.

HACCP can be applied throughout the food chain from the primary producer to final consumer.

HACCP reduces the need for finished product testing by identifying the hazards associated with the inputs into the process and the product and devising control measures which can be monitored in order to minimize or eliminate the hazards.

A HACCP program, when properly designed and implemented, will significantly reduce the chance of microbiological, chemical, and physical contaminants from reaching the customer.

HACCP is capable of accommodating changes such as advances in raw materials, equipment and premise design, procedures, and technological developments.

Benefits of HACCP

Focuses on identifying and preventing hazards from contaminating food

Permit more efficient and effective oversight, primarily because the record keeping allows investigators to see how well a firm is complying with food safety laws over a period rather than how well it doing on any given day period on any given day

Places responsibility to ensure food safety appropriately on any food manufacture or distributor

Help food companies compete more effectively in the world marked reduces barriers to international trade

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