HACCP Principles in UK Food Safety

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is integral to any business involved in the preparation of food. Foodborne illnesses such as food poisoning occur as a result of food being eaten once it’s contaminated. The 12 Steps of HACCP plan, which includes the 7 HACCP principles in food safety, puts protocols in place to manage these risks effectively to avoid the business and its customers coming to harm.

gloved food production worker preparing food whilst following haccp principles
Proper HACCP procedures in a commercial kitchen are a vital part of complying with UK food safety laws.

What are the HACCP Principles?

HACCP is a set of preventative measures in place to ensure food is safe from biological, chemical, and physical hazards during its production.  Hazard Analysis and Critical Point strategies should, ideally, be present during all stages of the food cycle. This means paying heed to it during the production of the food all the way through to its distribution.

HACCP & UK Food Safety Law

As a food business owner, you must set in motion safety measures that protect all stages of the food process. The need for this is laid ouit in the European Union Regulation No 852/2004:

Having a fully-fledged HACCP system is not mandatory, but you must have a food safety management system based on the HACCP principles”.

In the 1990s, it was recommended to apply these food safety management systems in the workplace.  In 2006 it became mandatory with the introduction of Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 based on the safety of all food.  Even now that the UK has left the EU, HACCP still applies to food businesses.

Should you choose not to implement a fully-fledged  HACCP system, then you will need to come up with your own system. This should still reflect the seven principles of HACCP.

The 12 Steps of HACCP Plans

There are 12 steps to follow to carry out an effective HACCP plan which will help ensure food safety hazards are minimised. Not only this, but everyone will know their own role in the HACCP.

The first 5 steps are the initial stages of the plan, followed by the 7 principles of HACCP.

  1. Assemble a dedicated HACCP Team.

The size of the team will depend on the size of the business and the dedicated team should reflect this. The team you appoint should be passionate in this area and have awareness of the potential food hazards

  1. Describe the products and processes.

Everyone should be clear on the products and processes to be used.

  1. Identify the intended users.

Here, clarity is required on the intended users of the final product.

  1. Construct a flow diagram.

This should be a thorough diagram, encompassing all the chain of events involved in the food production – from buying the materials to the final product being consumed.

  1. Confirmation of the flow diagram.

This involves validating the flow diagram, making sure all aspects of food production have been included.

Once these 5 steps have been carried out and are effective, it is time to implement the next 7 steps. These are the 7 principles of HACCP.

7 Principles Of HACCP.

  1. Conduct a hazard analysis. (Principle 1)

This involves the appointed team listing all potential hazards that can occur in the workplace with all aspects of food production.

  1. Identify the critical control points (CCPs). (Principle 2)

Here, all preventative measures should be found and put into place to minimise food safety risks.

  1. Establishing critical limits. (Principle 3)

A critical limit makes certain that a biological, chemical or physical hazard is managed by a CCP.

9.  Monitor CCP. (Principle 4)

This ensures all CCP is under control and checks all procedures implemented run smoothly and that critical limits are not exceeded.

10.   Establish corrective actions (Principle 5)

When the critical limit is exceeded, corrective action must be implemented which involves dealing with the affected product and any action required.

11. Establish verification procedures (Principle 6)

Basically, all procedures brought in should regularly be verified to ensure they are working out practically.

12. Documentation

Finally, ensure thorough records are kept detailing all aspects of the HACCP.

HACCP Training

Staff in food businesses all have a role to play when it comes to food safety including identifying and managing potential risks. HACCP is integral to ensure food is produced in the safest possible way, therefore avoiding contamination. Businesses neglectful in this area risk heavy fines or even closure, so training staff is a must.

Who Needs HACCP Certification?

Any food business should undergo and display HACCP Certification to protect the integrity of the workplace. The more intense course (Level 3) is designed for managers and supervisors in catering, retail, and manufacturing businesses. Level 2 courses ensure your palace of work is complying with food safety laws and keeping everyone safe.

HACCP Courses

Completing HACCP training can be done at a time to suit you if you opt for one of the many approved online training courses. You can also choose to attend a face-to-face course – there are options for everyone.

HACCP Level 2 for Catering and Retail

This course is suited to:

  • Food handlers
  • Chefs
  • Cooks
  • Cafe workers
  • Food retail workers

What Skills Will Level 2 HACCP In Catering And Retail Cover?

  • Introduction to Hazard Analysis.
  • Introduction to CCP.
  • How to ensure compliance with UK food laws.
  • The importance of HACCP.
  • Identifying food hazards.

HACCP Level 2 for Manufacturing

This course is suited to:

  • Food handlers
  • Engineers
  • Quality Control technicians
  • Warehouse staff
  • Factory staff

What Skills Will Level 2 HACCP In Manufacturing Cover?

  • Awareness of the importance of keeping food safe throughout production.
  • Introduction to Hazard Analysis.
  • Introduction to CCP.
  • Ensuring staff work safely.
  • All food remains safe for consumers.

HACCP Level 3

This course is suited to:

  • Food business managers and supervisors
  • Lead engineers
  • Directors
  • Head chefs and cooks
  • Lead Quality Control Officer
  • Health and safety officer

What Skills Will Level 3 HACCP Cover?

  • Effectively implementing a HACCP.
  • Ensure all staff are knowledgeable in their role in food safety.
  • Make sure the workplace is compliant with UK food laws.
  • Being aware and understanding the 12 steps.
  • Being aware and understanding the 7 Principles.
  • Becoming confident in selecting appropriate control measures.

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