HACCP - Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point

The first section of this document sets out the principles of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The second section provides general guidance for the application of the system while recognizing that the details of application may vary depending on the circumstances of the food operation .

The HACCP system, which is science based and systematic, identifies specific hazards and measures for their control to ensure the safety of food. HACCP is a tool to assess hazards and establish control systems that focus on prevention rather than relying mainly on end-product testing. Any HACCP system is capable of accommodating change, such as advances in equipment design, processing procedures or technological developments.

HACCP can be applied throughout the food chain from primary production to final consumption and its implementation should be guided by scientific evidence of risks to human health. As well as enhancing food safety, implementation of HACCP can provide other significant benefits. In addition, the application of HACCP systems can aid inspection by regulatory authorities and promote international trade by increasing confidence in food safety.

The successful application of HACCP requires the full commitment and involvement of management and the work force. It also requires a multidisciplinary approach; this multidisciplinary approach should include, when appropriate, expertise in agronomy, veterinary health, production, microbiology, medicine, public health, food technology, environmental health, chemistry and engineering, according to the particular study. The application of HACCP is compatible with the implementation of quality management systems, such as the ISO 9000 series, and is the system of choice in the management of food safety within such systems.

While the application of HACCP to food safety was considered here, the concept can be applied to other aspects of food quality.


Control (verb): To take all necessary actions to ensure and maintain compliance with criteria established in the HACCP plan.

Control (noun): The state wherein correct procedures are being followed and criteria are being met.

Control measure: Any action and activity that can be used to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.

Corrective action: Any action to be taken when the results of monitoring at the CCP indicate a loss of control.

Critical Control Point (CCP): 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.

Critical limit: A criterion which separates acceptability from unacceptability.

Deviation: Failure to meet a critical limit.

Flow diagram: A systematic representation of the sequence of steps or operations used in the production or manufacture of a particular food item.

HACCP: A system which identifies, evaluates, and controls hazards which are significant for food safety.

HACCP plan: A document prepared in accordance with the principles of HACCP to ensure control of hazards which are significant for food safety in the segment of the food chain under consideration.

Hazard: A biological, chemical or physical agent in, or condition of, food with the potential to cause an adverse health effect.

Hazard analysis: The process of collecting and evaluating information on hazards and conditions leading to their presence to decide which are significant for food safety and therefore should be addressed in the HACCP plan.

Monitor: The act of conducting a planned sequence of observations or measurements of control parameters to assess whether a CCP is under control.

Step: A point, procedure, operation or stage in the food chain including raw materials, from primary production to final consumption.

Validation: Obtaining evidence that the elements of the HACCP plan are effective.

Verification: The application of methods, procedures, tests and other evaluations, in addition to monitoring to determine compliance with the HACCP plan.


The HACCP system consists of the following seven principles:

PRINCIPLE 1 Conduct a hazard analysis.

PRINCIPLE 2 Determine the Critical Control Points (CCPs).

PRINCIPLE 3 Establish critical limit(s).

PRINCIPLE 4 Establish a system to monitor control of the CCP.

PRINCIPLE 5 Establish the corrective action to be taken when monitoring indicates that a particular CCP is not under control.

PRINCIPLE 6 Establish procedures for verification to confirm that the HACCP system is working effectively.

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