SafetyCulture iAuditor

HACCP Plan Templates & Forms

Efficiently identify and control food safety hazards using HACCP plan templates and a powerful app

Published 21 Dec 2021

What is a HACCP Plan?

A HACCP plan is a food safety monitoring system that is used to identify and control biological, chemical, and physical hazards within the storage, transportation, use, preparation, and sale of perishable goods. It also determines critical control points (CCP) in the process of food production. Create a HACCP plan to mitigate risks of food contamination and avoid legal issues caused by foodborne illnesses.

This article will answer the following questions:

Why do I need it?

Having a HACCP plan is a cost-effective way to manage food safety and sanitation systems which is essential to the success of your food business. HACCP Compliance benefits your food business in many ways, some of which are:

  • Avoid costly fines caused by food safety and hygiene offences
  • Build a strong reputation that attracts more customers
  • Improve quality and safety of food products
  • Reduces downtime and boosts productivity
  • Provides due diligence defense

The 4 Categories of Food Hazards

Before we get down into the steps of developing a HACCP plan. Let’s circle back and talk more about food hazards. We already know that HACCP helps in guarding against food hazards, but what are they exactly?

A food hazard refers to anything that could contaminate the food supply and cause adverse health consequences for consumers. It is introduced to the food supply any time through the means of either harvesting, formulation, storage, preparation, packaging and labeling, and/or serving. Food hazards are categorized into four types, which are as follows:

  • Biological – this category refers to food contamination by harmful microorganisms. Some common examples of this hazard are salmonella, norovirus, E. coli, and etc.
  • Chemical – this refers to contamination through the presence of chemical substances. Some chemical hazards can come from natural chemicals like mycotoxins, or intentionally added like preservatives. It can also come from chemical residues from cleaning chemicals used in the kitchen.
  • Physical – this refers to food contamination through a foreign object or items that aren’t normally part of the food. It can occur either during preparation or transportation. Common examples of physical hazards are hair, plastic, metal fragments, wood chips, dirt, and more.
  • Allergenic – this category refers to contamination through the presence of food allergens. There are 14 listed food allergens, but the 8 most common allergenic foods consist of milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, crustacean shellfish, wheat, and soybeans.

5 Steps to Get You Started

A good HACCP plan is founded on the right team, the right vision, and the collective diligence to carry out each step to guarantee food safety. To guide you through developing a HACCP plan, below are 5 steps you can follow to get started:

HACPP Plan

5 HACCP Steps to develop a solid HACCP plan

  1. Build your HACCP team

    The quality of your HACCP team is the foundation of your HACCP success. When building your HACCP team, you need to include individuals that have proven their knowledge and expertise in their respective fields. Recruit at least one individual from the following disciplines:

    • Food engineering
    • Quality assurance
    • Cleanliness and sanitation
    • Machine operations General labor

    Having an interdisciplinary team grants you insight into all of the important food safety aspects of your operation. Knowing what to look out for helps you prepare the right preventive measures to mitigate food safety risks. 

  2. Describe the product(s) and identify the intended use and consumers

    This step involves providing a general description of the food, stating details such as ingredients, processing methods, and method of distribution (e.g., frozen, refrigerated, or at a certain temperature.) Along with this information, also state the expected use of the food and the intended consumers (e.g., general public, infants, elderly, immunocompromised individuals, etc.)

  3. Review product(s) and processes

    The majority of employees, in their performance of day-to-day tasks, tend to take the details of their work for granted. This happens mostly because processes turn into habits through repetition. Habits, however, may persist even if they are no longer efficient.

    Reviewing food products and processes helps the HACCP team determine whether the current internal food safety processes and standards are still relevant and efficient. This way, revisions, and updates can be made to ensure the safety of food products from preparation to delivery.    

  4. Outline the updated process

    After applying the necessary adjustments to the process, the HACCP team must outline the updated process in a clear and understandable manner for employees to follow. A flow diagram can be used since its linear format can help avoid confusion regarding the order of process steps.

  5. Follow the 7 principles of HACCP

    At this point, your HACCP team will then proceed to perform the 7 principles of HACCP, which are as follows:

    1. Conduct a hazard analysis

    2. Determine the CCPs

    3. Establish critical limits of CCPs

    4. Set Up a monitoring system

    5. Establish corrective actions

    6. Establish verification procedures

    7. Establish documentation

How to Write a Plan in 3 Steps

Once you’ve met the prerequisites of a HACCP plan, you can begin documenting. In this guide, we’ve summed up the process into three steps based on the 7 principles of a HACCP plan.

    1. Write Down Your Process

      Building a HACCP Plan begins with listing down the steps in the production process. This step involves conducting the HACCP principle of conducting a hazard analysis. Therefore, you have to write down the following information:

      • general description of the step or process;
      • the potential hazards it’s exposed to (e.g., biological, chemical, or physical);
      • it’s likelihood;
      • the preventive measures; and
      • photo of the process or procedure for a more comprehensive plan.
    2. Determine CCPs and Establish Critical Limits & Monitoring Procedures

      In this step, you will need to identify which processes a critical control point (CCP) must be applied to eliminate food safety hazards (e.g., receiving, sorting, handling, or testing). As you write down critical control points, a critical limit should also be specified. A critical limit is the minimum or maximum value that must be met by the control measure to prevent, eliminate or reduce the hazard.

      After establishing the critical limits, a monitoring procedure should then be provided to help the staff track that each limit has been met. This enables staff to maintain food safety during the food production process. Monitoring procedures can be written by defining the following:

        • What is being monitored?
        • How should it be measured?
        • How frequent should it be checked?
        • Who is responsible for checking?

      Example:

      Critical Control Point (CCP) Critical Limit Monitoring Procedure
      Testing pH of 4.6 or below Use a pH meter to measure the pH of the finished product. This should be done for every batch by the Chef in charge or any other designated employee.
    3. Provide a Corrective Action

      Corrective actions are the steps taken when deviation occurs during the food production process. This allows staff members to take the proper action needed to prevent contamination or any other foodborne illnesses. Corrective actions can vary to either, recooking or reheating or disposal.Example of a corrective action: If the finished product is slurry and did not meet the critical limit, the food product and its batch should be discarded.To give you an idea of what it looks like, we’ve provided a haccp plan example below:

      HACCP Plan ExampleHACCP Plan Example 

      What is a HACCP Plan Template?

      A HACCP plan template is a tool used by many food establishments as a guide in establishing an effective HACCP system. Digital HACCP plan templates can help improve tedious workflows that involve paper forms, spreadsheets, scanning, faxing, and manual recordkeeping.

      iAuditor by Safetyculture is a versatile checklist and inspections app that can support food businesses to ensure food safety and prevent food losses. With iAuditor as a HACCP Software, you can:

      • Materialize and document your HACCP plan by creating mobile-ready HACCP templates;
      • Generate comprehensive HACCP pdf and report anytime, anywhere;
      • Empower teams to conduct paperless HACCP checks using a smartphone or tablet;
      • Conduct better monitoring procedures and hazard analysis;
      • Take photos of CCP deviations and capture values that justify the need for corrective actions;
      • Establish routine checks with the aid of automatic inspection scheduling notifications;
      • Track improvements and issues on overall food safety in real-time, anywhere anytime with analytics.
      • Save all reports online. Preview a sample report here.
      • Great use for teams. Unlimited reports and storage for premium accounts

      How Businesses are Using the Templates on iAuditor

      See how a trusted food delivery business in Australia, Marley Spoon, delivers safe and high-quality food to their customers using a HACCP template in the video:

      iAuditor gives you the flexibility to power any inspection you require – onsite, underground, and across the globe. Inspect construction sites, restaurants inspections for food safety, conduct temperature checks, pre-flight checks, toolbox talks and more. It is the mobile forms inspection solution for all industries.

SafetyCulture Content Specialist

Jona Tarlengco

Jona Tarlengco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. She usually writes about safety and quality topics, contributing to the creation of well-researched articles. Her 5-year experience in one of the world’s leading business news organisations helps enrich the quality of the information in her work.

Jona Tarlengco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. She usually writes about safety and quality topics, contributing to the creation of well-researched articles. Her 5-year experience in one of the world’s leading business news organisations helps enrich the quality of the information in her work.