What is a HACCP System?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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A HACCP system is a food safety system that businesses use to comply with standards from the US Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has established HACCP food safety guidelines to deal with a wide range of dangers from improper food handling. The HACCP standards apply to the entire supply chain for food, and all aspects of the food service industry.

Each business has its own HACCP system for complying with these food safety standards. HACCP is diverse in addressing not just food shipping and food storage, but food preparation, hot food maintenance, and much more. A business applies its HACCP system according to what kinds of operations it includes in its wholesale, retail or shipping plans.

Every kind of food has its own HACCP standards. There are abundant HACCP temperature rules for meat and animal products to make sure that these are safe for consumers to eat when they have passed through the entire food supply chain. Other HACCP standards apply to produce or non-perishable foods. Temperature is a large part of HACCP protocols since improper storage temperatures can make many food unsafe to eat.


One of the key points of HACCP is in establishing standard practices for food service workers who are trying to bring food from “the back of the house,” or an initial shipping status, to the plates of consumers. This is true both in a restaurant or even a simple snack bar. The time sensitive process of serving food is part of what led to HACCP standards. A wide variety of businesses have to figure out how to teach different levels of workers how to care for food products, and a national food safety standard helps to implement this goal.

Another reason that HACCP has become so important is in the processing of pre-prepared foods. In today’s complex food service world, one dish may have many components, each with their own levels of perishability and health standards. HACCP helps food service workers to treat complex food products in a uniform manner that promotes healthy food distribution.

Many business owners are glad to have HACCP system standards to rely on. Food hazard can be a large part of liability for a small restaurant or food service business. Using HACCP system protocols as a comprehensive guide, businesses can make sure they are serving customers safely and minimize risks related to product liability, which can be expensive to respond to on multiple levels when they occur.


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