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Basic principles of HACCP

There are seven discrete activities that are necessary to establish, implement and maintain a HACCP plan, and these are referred to as the 'seven principles' in the Codex Guideline (1997).

The seven principles are[1]:

Principle 1
Conduct a hazard analysis.

Identify hazards and assess the risks associated with them at each step in the commodity system. Describe possible control measures.

Principle 2
Determine the Critical Control Points (CCPs)

A critical control point is a step at which control can be applied and is essential to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard, or reduce it to an acceptable level. The determination of a CCP can be facilitated by the application of a decision tree, such as the one given in Appendix IV.

Principle 3
Establish critical limits.

Each control measure associated with a CCP must have an associated critical limit which separates the acceptable from the unacceptable control parameter.

Principle 4
Establish a monitoring system

Monitoring is the scheduled measurement or observation at a CCP to assess whether the step is under control, i.e. within the critical limit(s) specified in Principle 3.

Principle 5
Establish a procedure for corrective action, when monitoring at a CCP indicates a deviation from an established critical limit.

Principle 6
Establish procedures for verification to confirm the effectiveness of the HACCP plan.

Such procedures include auditing of the HACCP plan to review deviations and product dispositions, and random sampling and checking to validate the whole plan.

Principle 7
Establish documentation concerning all procedures and records appropriate to these principles and their application

[1] please refer to Appendix 1 for a definition of the terms used in this section

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