What is HACCP?

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a systematic approach to food safety management that helps identify and prevent potential hazards in the food production and processing industry. It is a preventive system rather than a reactive one, designed to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to produce safe food. Current standards for HACCP are ISO 22000:2018, which is proposed to be replaced by ISO/AWI 22000.

Where is HACCP used?

Any organization or business that produces or processes food must describe all possible risks in their HACCP plan. HACCP is used in every step of the food industry, from growing to processing, manufacturing, distributing, and preparing for consumption. HACCP is also increasingly being applied to the cosmetics and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries.

Which countries require HACCP?

Currently, only the United States, Australia, Japan, China, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, and a few places in Europe require HACCP.

When was HACCP created?

HACCP was first developed in the 1960s by scientists and engineers working to ensure food safety for astronauts. Various international organizations and regulatory agencies later adopted and recognized the system.

When was HACCP required?

HACCP is a mandatory requirement in many countries for food establishments involved in producing, handling, and distributing food products. It is vital for businesses that deal with high-risk products such as meat, dairy, seafood, and processed foods.

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Steps to get a HACCP certificate

To obtain a HACCP certificate, businesses need to follow a series of steps:

  1. Conduct a thorough hazard analysis: Identify potential hazards in the food production process, such as biological, chemical, and physical risks.
  2. Determine critical control points (CCPs): Determine the critical points in the production process where the identified hazards can be controlled, eliminated, or prevented.
  3. Establish critical limits: Establish specific criteria that must be met at each critical control point to ensure food safety.
  4. Develop monitoring procedures: Establish procedures to monitor control points, such as temperature checks, visual inspections, or testing.
  5. Establish corrective actions: Establish protocols to address deviations from the critical limits and implement corrective actions to prevent hazards.
  6. Implement verification procedures: Regularly review and verify the effectiveness of the HACCP system through documentation, testing, and audits.
  7. Maintain records: Maintain thorough records of the hazard analysis, monitoring, corrective actions, and verification procedures.
  8. Train staff: Ensure that all staff members involved in the food production process are trained in HACCP principles and implementation.
  9. Third-party certification: Engage with an accredited certification body to conduct an independent audit and verify compliance with HACCP requirements.

Do HACCP certificates expire?

HACCP certificates don't have a standardized expiration date. The duration of validity for a HACCP certificate can vary depending on industry regulations, certification bodies, and specific requirements.

While HACCP training certificates generally do not have an expiration date, some certification bodies or industries may require regular refresher courses or continuing education to maintain the knowledge and skills necessary for the effective implementation of HACCP principles.


While HACCP focuses on preventing and minimizing risks in the food production process, HARPC (Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls) is a newer food safety system introduced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (opens in new tab) (FSMA).

The main difference between HACCP and HARPC is that HARPC applies to all food facilities under FDA jurisdiction. In contrast, HACCP is primarily required for specific industries such as meat, dairy, and seafood.

HARPC emphasizes preventive measures to detect and control hazards, including allergens, foodborne illnesses, and chemical contaminants. Unlike HACCP, HARPC requires comprehensive written plans, supplier verification, record-keeping, and greater management involvement.

Both HACCP and HARPC aim to ensure food safety, but HARPC's scope is broader, focusing on implementing preventive controls throughout the entire food supply chain.

What is the difference between HACCP, TACCP, and VACCP?

HACCP, TACCP, and VACCP are all food safety management systems aiming to control the hazards that can compromise food safety.

As we highlighted earlier, HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. It is a systematic approach to food safety management that identifies, evaluates, and controls potential food production and processing hazards.

TACCP stands for Threat Assessment and Critical Control Points. TACCP is a system that focuses on understanding and preventing intentional food adulteration. It involves identifying and assessing vulnerabilities in the food supply chain that could be exploited for malicious reasons, such as economic fraud or intentional contamination.

VACCP stands for Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Points. VACCP aims to prevent food adulteration by identifying vulnerabilities within the supply chain. It involves analyzing and evaluating potential vulnerabilities, such as weak points in the procurement, handling, storage, and distribution of food. By implementing preventive measures and controls, VACCP helps reduce the risk of intentional or unintentional contamination or substitution of food products.

HACCP authorities and regulating bodies

There are several HACCP authorities and regulating bodies across the globe. Below is a table illustrating these authorities in the countries where HACCP standards are utilized and required:

Country Regulating bodies
United States (U.S.) In the United States, the primary authority for food safety regulations, including HACCP, is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (opens in new tab). The FDA requires HACCP plans for seafood, juice, and low-acid canned food industries. The United States Department of Agriculture (opens in new tab) (USDA) oversees HACCP in meat and poultry processing facilities.
European Union (E.U.) The European Commission (opens in new tab) governs food safety regulations and HACCP implementation in Europe. The European Commission guides the implementation of food safety management systems, including HACCP principles. Each E.U. member state also has its competent authority responsible for enforcing food safety regulations.
United Kingdom (U.K.) In the United Kingdom, the Food Standards Agency (opens in new tab) (FSA) regulates food safety and sets standards for HACCP implementation. The FSA guides HACCP principles and requires its application in food businesses to ensure consumer safety.
Australia In Australia, food safety regulations and HACCP implementation are overseen by multiple authorities. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (opens in new tab) regulates meat safety and HACCP requirements for meat processors. The Department of Health (opens in new tab) governs HACCP implementation for food and beverage processing, while individual state and territory authorities enforce food safety regulations at a local level.

HACCP is essential for ensuring food safety during the production process

As a preventive approach, HACCP helps food businesses identify and mitigate potential hazards, ultimately producing safe food for consumption. From conducting hazard analysis to obtaining third-party certification, each step in the HACCP process plays a crucial role in maintaining quality and compliance. While HACCP certificates may not have a standardized expiration date, ongoing training and adherence to regulations are necessary for upholding food safety principles. As the food industry continues to evolve, adherence to HACCP principles remains a cornerstone of a responsible and compliant food production environment.

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