The application of HACCP principles consists of the following tasks as identified in the Logic sequence for application of HACCP.
1. Assemble HACCP team
The food operation should assure that the appropriate product specific knowledge and expertise is available for the development of an effective HACCP plan. Optimally, this may be accomplished by assembling a multi disciplinary team. Where such expertise is not available on site, expert advice should be obtained from other sources. The scope of the HACCP plan should be identified. The scope should describe which segment of the food chain is involved and the general classes of hazards to be addressed, e.g., does it cover all classes of hazards or only selected classes.
2. Describe product
A full description of the product should be drawn up, including relevant safety information such as: composition, physical/chemical structure, packaging, durability and storage conditions and method of distribution.
3. Identify intended use
The intended use should be based on the expected uses of the product by the end user or consumer. In specific cases, vulnerable groups of the population, e.g., institutional feeding may have to be considered.
4. Construct flow diagram
The flow diagram should be constructed by the HACCP team. The flow diagram should cover all steps in the operation. When applying HACCP to a given operation, consideration should be given to steps preceding and following the specified operation.
5. On site confirmation of flow diagram
The HACCP team should confirm the processing operation against the flow diagram during all stages and hours of operation and amend the flow diagram where appropriate.
6. List all potential hazards associated with each step, conduct a hazard analysis, and consider any measures to control identified hazards. (Principle 1)
The HACCP team should list all hazards that may be reasonably expected to occur at each step from primary production, processing, manufacture, and distribution until the point of consumption. The HACCP team should next conduct a hazard analysis to identify for the HACCP plan which hazards are of such a nature that their elimination or reduction to acceptable levels is essential to the production of a safe food. In conducting the hazard analysis, wherever possible the following should be included: The likely occurrence of hazards and severity of their adverse health effects; The qualitative and/or quantitative evaluation of the presence of hazards; Survival or multiplication of micro organisms of concern; Production or persistence in foods of toxins, chemicals or physical agents; and Conditions leading to the above. The HACCP team must then consider what control measures, if any, exist which can be applied for each hazard. More than one control measure may be required to control a specific hazard(s) and more than one hazard may be controlled by a specified control measure.
7. Determine Critical Control Points (Principle 2)
There may be more than one CCP at which control is applied to address the same hazard. The determination of a CCP in the HACCP system can be facilitated by the application of a decision tree, which indicates a logic reasoning approach. Application of a decision tree should be flexible, given whether the operation is for production, slaughter, processing, storage, distribution or other. It should be used for guidance when determining CCPs. This example of a decision tree may not be applicable to all situations. Other approaches may be used. Training in the application of the decision tree is recommended.
8. Establish critical limits for each CCP (Principle 3)
Critical limits must be specified and validated if possible for each Critical Control Point. In some cases more than one critical limit will be elaborated at a particular step. Criteria often used include measurements of temperature, time, moisture level, available chlorine, and sensory parameters such as visual appearance and texture.
9. Establish a monitoring system for each CCP (Principle 4)
Monitoring is the scheduled measurement or observation of a CCP relative to its critical limits. The monitoring procedures must be able to detect loss of control at the CCP. Further, monitoring should ideally provide this information in time to make adjustments to ensure control of the process to prevent violating the critical limits. Where possible, process adjustments should be made when monitoring results indicate a trend towards loss of control at a CCP. The adjustments should be taken before a deviation occurs. Data derived from monitoring must be evaluated by a designated person with knowledge and authority to carry out corrective actions when indicated.
10. Establishment corrective actions (Principle 5)
Specific corrective actions must be developed for each CCP in the HACCP system in order to deal with deviations when they occur.
11. Establishment of verification procedures (Principle 6)
Establish procedures for verification, Verification and auditing methods, procedures and tests, including random sampling and analysis, can be used to determine if the HACCP system is working correctly. The frequency of verification should be sufficient to confirm that the HACCP system is working effectively.
12. Establishment of documentation and record keeping (Principle 7)
Efficient and accurate record keeping is essential to the application of an HACCP system. HACCP procedures should be documented. Documentation and record keeping should be appropriate to the nature and size of the operation.