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What is HACCP?

HACCP or "Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points" includes 7 principles and is a systematic and science based approach to identifying, evaluating, and controlling potential hazards that can affect food safety in various stages of food production.

Keeping it Safe: Why HACCP is Essential in Foodservice


Imagine a kitchen running like a well-oiled machine. Cooks are whipping up delicious dishes, but behind the scenes, there’s another crucial operation at play: ensuring every meal is safe for consumption. This is where HACCP comes in.

HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point. It’s not a magic recipe, but a systematic approach to food safety that identifies and controls risks throughout the entire foodservice process, from receiving ingredients to serving the final plate. In this article, we will cover the basics of HACCP and review its 7 principles.

So, why is HACCP so important in foodservice? Here’s a breakdown:

  • Prevention, Not Reaction: HACCP is proactive, focusing on identifying potential hazards – biological (bacteria), chemical (cleaners), and physical (glass shards) – before they cause problems. This is far better than reacting to a foodborne illness outbreak.
  • Safer Food, Satisfied Customers: Foodborne illnesses can be devastating for both customers and businesses. HACCP helps prevent them, protecting your customers’ health and your business reputation.
  • Clear and Consistent: HACCP provides a clear framework for food safety procedures. This ensures consistency, so regardless of who’s working in the kitchen, everyone follows the same safe practices.
  • Traceability Advantage: HACCP emphasizes record-keeping. This allows you to trace any food item back through the process, making it easier to identify and address any potential issues quickly.

While HACCP isn’t mandatory for all foodservice operations in some regions, it’s a valuable tool for any establishment that prioritizes safety. The benefits are undeniable – protecting your customers, your staff, and your business. HACCP fosters a culture of food safety awareness, making it an essential ingredient for success in the foodservice industry.

The 7 Principles of HACCP:

HACCP is built on seven core principles that guide the development and implementation of a food safety plan:

  1. Conduct a Hazard Analysis: This involves identifying all potential hazards at each stage of food handling, from purchasing ingredients to cooking and serving.
  2. Determine Critical Control Points (CCPs): CCPs are points in the process where controlling a hazard will prevent, eliminate, or reduce it to a safe level. Examples include cooking temperatures and cooling times.
  3. Establish Critical Limits: For each CCP, specific parameters are set to ensure food safety. For instance, the critical limit for cooking chicken might be an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  4. Establish Monitoring Procedures: Regular monitoring ensures CCPs stay within their critical limits. This might involve taking temperature readings or checking for proper cooling procedures.
  5. Establish Corrective Actions: A plan is needed for when a CCP falls outside its critical limits. This could involve discarding contaminated food or taking steps to bring the temperature back into the safe zone.
  6. Establish Verification Procedures: Regular verification ensures the entire HACCP system is working effectively. This could involve internal audits or independent inspections.
  7. Establish Record-keeping and Documentation Procedures: Maintaining accurate records of monitoring, corrective actions, and verifications is crucial for demonstrating your commitment to food safety.

By following these seven principles, HACCP empowers foodservice businesses to take control of food safety, safeguarding their customers and building a strong foundation for success.

Renau developed the Smart Kitchen System line of products to help operators follow and achieve their food safety goals. With both time and temperature recording and alerts we have your full solution. Contact us today to learn more!