The 7 HACCP principles and their implementation using checklists

HACCP or “Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points” is a control system of risks related to hygiene and health security in the agri-food sector.

It is both a structured and preventive approach to food safety risks.

Internationally recognized, this method is used as a mandatory quality tool across the EU in the agri-food sector. It helps organizations in agri-food industry identify food and beverage safety risks and ensure regulatory compliance.

Constantly evolving, this tool is governed by 7 principles of identification, evaluation and action which allow to:

  • prioritize food safety
  • anticipate problems
  • have professionals’ recognition
  • prove the application of hygiene rules

It should be noted that since 2012, every establishment in the agro-food sector must have within its team at least one person trained in hazard analysis-critical points for their control.

In this article, we will present and define the different principles of HACCP method and the importance of Picomto in its establishment.

The 7 principles of HACCP:

1. Hazard analysis

HACCP first principal is to identify potential hazards (chemical, physical or microbiological hazards) and this is thanks to the “5M” method. This identification takes place at each stage of manufacturing, preparation or transformation.

Thanks to defined plans, the different hazards caused by food products can be identified. In addition, the role of these plans is to define preventive counter measures. In fact, once hazards are identified, it is important to set up a hierarchy which helps to prioritize actions to be deployed to eliminate or bring hazard to a tolerable level.

Picomto allows you to create and integrate all internal company standards directly into the solution so that they become available to all operators.

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2. Identification of control points

The second point consists in identifying critical control points (CCP). This will help to act on identified hazards and thus allows setting up preventive measures.

If you already know your hazards, this phase will help you determine the critical control points. These are points in the process where you can carry out the control of food hazards in order to minimize, reduce or eliminate their effects to a tolerable level. This step can be carried out through checklists.

3. Define action limits at critical control points (CCP)

The next step involves determining the critical limits of each CCP. It should be noted that a critical action limit is defined as a maximum or minimum value for which physical, chemical or biological hazards must be controlled. This helps to avoid, eliminate or reduce hazard at a tolerable level. We can say that it is a question of setting up a scale of critical limits that should not be crossed in order to guarantee the control of each critical control point.

Thanks to Picmoto, the user benefits from an overview of processes in the company. He is also able to recognize critical developments and subsequently take preventive measures at an early stage.

4. Implementation of monitoring procedures adapted to critical control points

The following system involves establishing a monitoring system. This mainly refers to all the self-monitoring. Therefore, you have to take tests, measures or even analyses in order to ensure effective CCP control. Note that each of the measures taken is recorded in a specific document. You should know that the phase of continuous monitoring or observation of critical control points is essential to keep the process under control at each critical point.

Picomoto’s mission is to help operators closely monitor critical control points by sending them corresponding digital work instructions.

The procedure and frequency of control should be determined in HACCP plan. This can be easily and directly implemented in Picomto.

5. Corrective actions in case of deviations

Once monitoring procedures are established, it is now important to set up corrective measures. In fact, you must determine the corrective actions to be applied when identifying a non-compliant critical control point. Thus, in case of overrun or deviation from the specified limit values, concrete actions must be implemented.

With the help of checklists and continuous monitoring of production steps, operators follow and control their limited values. From this, corrective measures can be quickly taken. This is the moment where Picomto steps in.

6. Evaluation measures to control the efficiency of HACCP system

This step involves implementing verification procedures.  In fact, additional tests should be taken in order to guarantee CCP control after the application of corrective actions.

We can say that the evaluation measures of HACCP system are established to guarantee a safe and sustainable food production.  They mainly include the evaluation of all HACCP plans, recordings of critical control points, critical limits, sampling and analysis.

Thanks to Picomto, you benefit from a real-time overview of all the data gathered by operators in the field.

7. Documentation of measures

The last principle is to archive all the controls carried out. In fact, HACCP requirements must be archived and available at a later stage. They comprise the documentation of all the collected data during the monitoring of a production establishment.

Picomto ensures easy and quick storage of company documentation.

Also, this tool ensures a direct link with Business Intelligence software.

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