Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points – HACCP

Hazard analysis and critical control points, or HACCP /ˈhæsʌp/, is a systematic preventive approach to food safety and pharmaceutical safety that identifies physical, allergenic, chemical, and biological hazards in production processes that can cause the finished product to be unsafe, and designs measurements to reduce these risks to a safe level.

In this manner, HACCP is referred as the prevention of hazards rather than finished product inspection.



The HACCP system can be used at all stages of a food chain, from food production and preparation processes including packaging, distribution, etc. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) say that their mandatory.

HACCP programs for juice and meat are an effective approach to food safety and protecting public health. Meat HACCP systems are regulated by the USDA, while seafood and juice are regulated by the FDA. The use of HACCP is currently voluntary in other food industries.



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HACCP itself was conceived in the 1960s when the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) asked Pillsbury to design and manufacture the first foods for space flights. Since then, HACCP has been recognized internationally as a logical tool for adapting traditional inspection methods to a modern, science-based, food safety system.

Based on risk-assessment, HACCP plans allow both industry and government to allocate their resources efficiently in establishing and auditing safe food production practices. In 1994, the organization of International HACCP Alliance was established initially for the US meat and poultry industries to assist them with implementing HACCP and now its membership has been spread over other professional/industrial areas.

By Alec Deacon

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