Simply Safe
18th September 2017

What Is HACCP?

Continuing the theme of #SimplySafeSeptember today we’re looking at HACCP plans, including how and when they should be updated.

Every food business needs to have a food safety management system in place, based on HACCP principles. This plan should be reviewed on a regular basis, at a minimum annually. However, there are also other occasions when it should be reviewed.

Did you know that HACCP was originally developed by the Pillsbury Company for NASA in the 1950’s? It was created to ensure that astronauts did not become ill from food while in space! Since then it has become the international standard for food safety. In January 2006 it became a legal requirement for almost all EU food businesses to use HACCP as the basis of their food safety management system (EC 852/2004 Article 5).

How Often Should You Update Your HACCP Plan?

Have you updated your menu recently or had staff turnover, perhaps hired a new head chef?  Maybe you’ve bought some new kitchen equipment or changed suppliers for a specific product.

All of these scenarios mean that the risk factors and critical control points which you had previously identified have changed. Therefore your HACCP plan will need to change to reflect that.

Your existing staff will have been trained to know your working procedures, food safety management system and the processes you have in place to monitor the CCPs in your business, make sure that the critical limits are not breached and that food safety hazards are under control. All new members of staff will need to undergo the same training to ensure that your food safety standards are maintained.

Seasonal menu changes are part and parcel of running a food business, but if any of these incorporate new cooking methods or equipment e.g. sous vide, that was not covered by your existing HACCP plan then it will need to be updated. Each method of cooking comes with its own controls and it’s important that every businesses HACCP plan accurately reflects exactly what is happening in the kitchen on a day to day basis. A plan that covers your summer menu may not be relevant for your winter menu and vice versa.

In Conclusion….

Ensuring you regularly update your HACCP plan not only gives you peace of mind that you are doing everything you can to reduce the risk of food safety incidents, it also means you are able to demonstrate legal compliance and would support a due diligence defence should anything happen, helping protect your reputation.

Would you like one of our food safety experts to look over your current HACCP system? If you’re implementing a robust compliance system into your company then Simply Safe is your answer!

Call our team today on 01252 728 300


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