This article will answer the following questions:
- Why businesses need a HACCP plan
- Prerequisites of a HACCP Plan
- How to write a HACCP plan
- What is a HACCP plan template and how can it help in establishing HACCP effectively?
- How are businesses using technology to streamline their HACCP system?
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
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:
- 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.
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.)
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.
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.
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:
Conduct a hazard analysis
Determine the CCPs
Establish critical limits of CCPs
Set Up a monitoring system
Establish corrective actions
Establish verification procedures
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.
- 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.
- 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?
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.
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:
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.
- 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.
- Use for free with small teams. Unlimited reports and storage for premium accounts
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.
Top HACCP Templates
CCP Monitoring Checklist - Temperature
This CCP monitoring checklist is used by a person in charge (PIC) or chef to take a photo of finished products and capture temperatures as evidence of critical limits being met or not.
CCP Monitoring Checklist - pH Log
This CCP monitoring template is used to assess a finished products pH to check if it meets the set critical limits. Take photo of product and indicate corrective actions taken in the event of critical limits not being met.
HACCP Principles Checklist
This HACCP checklist follows the seven principles to maintain and manage the HACCP system. Use this HACCP form to evaluate if the HACCP team’s skills and experience are appropriate for the task. This checklist will inspect the products and check if the flow diagram to be used for each product is complete and verified. Moreover, the checklist also covers GMP, cleaning procedures, pest control, training, and calibration. Use iAuditor on your tablet or mobile device to conduct a digital inspection and generate on the spot report while on site.
HACCP Food Safety Checklist
This HACCP Food Safety template helps to record potential food safety hazards which can be biological, chemical, or physical. Use this checklist to evaluate the CCPs, critical limits for each control measure, and frequency of the CCPs. Identify the corrective actions to be used and verify the activities performed. Use iAuditor to document data needed and generate an on-site report.
Corrective Action Template - HACCP
Use this template to record all instances of corrective action being carried out whenever predetermined critical limits are not met. Record the details of the action taken and confirm if product is condemned. Identify the staff who found the deviation and the person who was informed of the deviation.
HACCP Audit Checklist
HACCP Audit template can be used to identify the hazards, any CCPs, and the critical limit deviation. This template also records the past history of the product, corrective action, and future actions needed. Use iAuditor the best mobile inspection app to generate a comprehensive report and ensure risks are at safe levels.
HACCP Risk Assessment Template
Use this HACCP Risk Assessment Template to evaluate food safety hazards and rate the risk rating. Identify the consequence, likelihood and risk rating of food safety hazards and identify relevant control measures. Use iAuditor to make sure that procedures are followed and corrective actions are properly addressed and assigned to appropriate team members.