HACCP Certification

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HACCP Certification

What is HACCP Certification ?

HACCP Certification  is an approval system that recognizes that a food business has developed, documented and implemented systems and procedures in accordance with HACCP. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control point and is an internationally recognized tool to help identify and control food safety hazards that may occur within the food business.

The Benefits of HACCP Certification

There are many benefits of implementing HACCP in your food business and becoming certified.  Besides the obvious benefit to your customers – they do not get sick from eating your food, there are also several business benefits. The main benefit is the demonstrated commitment to food safety . This tells your customers and the wider community that food safety is a priority and you have control systems in place.

Secondly, by applying HACCP in your food business, you should see more effective use of resources, financial savings and more timely response to food safety problems. Implementing HACCP allows you to identify everything that could go wrong with regards to food safety and then put a strategy in place to prevent it from happening.

Depending on where you are located, it may also be a mandatory or legal requirement that your business has a certified HACCP system  . It may also provide a basis of due diligence in a court of law and a great way to protect your brand and business reputation.

Finally, HACCP can lead to an increase in business.  For some of your customers, it may be a requirement to have a HACCP based food safety management system . For international trade, compliance with the internationally recognized Codex Alimentarius standards will greatly benefit your business opportunities. 

Who needs a HACCP certification?

Having a HACCP plan  as your food safety management system is not mandatory per se. Despite this, a food business is required to have a set of management systems aimed at keeping food safe. In addition, a HACCP plan satisfies several food laws and regulations which require accurate identification of hazards and mitigation of food safety issues such as the FSMA regulations by the FDA.

A HACCP certification is vital for you to prove to your customers and partners that your food business is running safely. As such, HACCP certification should be sought by anyone with a food business, such as;

  • Restaurants
  • Catering businesses
  • Food transportation companies
  • Food preparation services, food truck
  • Food manufacturers
  • Food delivery service

Gaining HACCP accreditation is extremely helpful if you are setting up a new business. Giving your customers confidence in your food safety practices from the very beginning can give you a competitive advantage, and can help to build your brand name when starting out.

It is highly advisable for anyone working in the food industry to obtain HACCP certification. However, if you are unsure if it is necessary in your case, you should always contact your local or national regulatory authority to find out if you need it.

Why do you need a HACCP certification?

Aside from providing your customers with the right level of confidence in patronizing your products, a HACCP certification can provide you with several other advantages. These benefits can be economic, safety, and social in nature. Some advantages may include the following:

  • Reduced probability of releasing unsafe food to the market
  • Increased consumer confidence in the finished product
  • Increased appeal to investors, suppliers, and partners
  • Gain competitive advantage against other products of the same niche and in international trade
  • Comply with food agency regulations
  • Better management of resources and waste
  • Gain entry to additional markets and greater acceptance by food processors and manufacturers

As a prerequisite to attaining a HACCP certification, your HACCP plan must be well-written, complete, and fit for your production process for safe food products. In addition, it must have already undergone application testing to evaluate its effectiveness and suitability to your business. 

HACCP Certification FAQs

Question: What does HACCP stand for and why is it used?

Answer: HACCP stands for ‘Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points’ and is an internationally-recognised food safety management system that helps businesses to identify, evaluate and control the hazards that pose a significant risk to food safety. Having a HACCP plan in place is essential to prevent foods from becoming unsafe for the consumer to eat. It applies equally to food retail, catering and manufacturing establishments.

Question: When did HACCP become law?

Answer: It was first recommended that all businesses implement a HACCP system in the 1990s. Today, article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 states that ‘Food business operators shall put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure based on the Codex HACCP principles.’ This became mandatory as of 1st January 2006.

Question: What are the HACCP procedures?

Answer: A HACCP food safety management system is based on 7 key principles:

  • Conduct a hazard analysis
  • Determine the Critical Control Points (CCP)
  • Establish critical limits
  • Establish a system to monitor control of the CCP
  • Establish corrective action
  • Establish procedures for verification to confirm the system is working
  • Establish documentation.
  • To establish a HACCP system and ensure food safety, each of these principles must be followed, monitored and reviewed regularly.

Question: What are the advantages to HACCP?

Answer: Implementing a HACCP-based food safety management system ensures you are complying with Regulation (EC) No 852/2004. A successful HACCP system will also prevent costly food safety incidents, help you to avoid legal action and product recalls, prevent the need for destroying stock, protect the reputation of the business and increase customer confidence.

Question: Who uses HACCP?

Answer: HACCP food safety management systems are used in all types of food establishments, including food catering, food retail and food manufacturing businesses. HACCP is an internationally-recognised system and the principles are adopted in countries all over the world, including Europe, the USA, Australasia and the Far East.

Question: What is a HACCP plan?

Answer: Planning is essential to ensure that your HACCP system will work efficiently and effectively. The HACCP plan can be linear (where each product in your food business has its own HACCP plan, tracking the product from start to finish) or modular (where each stage of the food production process has its own HACCP plan, e.g. delivery, storage and preparation).

Question: When is a HACCP plan required?

Answer: If you own a food business (catering, retail or manufacturing) then the Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 requires you put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure based on the Codex HACCP principles. A HACCP plan is required for food businesses of all sizes, although less-complex versions are available for smaller establishments.

Question: How can a HACCP plan best be implemented?

Answer: Implementing the HACCP plan means putting the safety controls into practice so that the HACCP plan becomes a fully-working HACCP system. The HACCP plan can be implemented using the ‘blanket’ approach (where the plan is applied to the entire food system) or the ‘staged’ approach (where the plan is applied to each individual food process).

Question: Is HACCP mandatory?

Answer: Article 5 of the European Union Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs states that ‘Food business operators shall put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure based on the Codex HACCP principles.’ Having a fully-fledged HACCP system is not mandatory, but you must have a food safety management system based on the HACCP principles. This includes alternative systems implemented using Safer Food Better Business, CookSafe, Safe Catering, ISO 9001:2015, ISO 22000:2005 and other relevant national guides.

Question: Is HACCP a government agency?

Answer: No, HACCP is not a government agency. HACCP is a food safety management system that has been defined and recommended by the World Health Organisation’s Codex Alimentarius Commission since the 1990s. It is part of the European Union Regulation (EC) no 852/2004.

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