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12 Steps of HACCP

The Codex Guidelines outline 12 steps for conducting a HACCP study and establishing a HACCP plan.

1. Assemble and train the HACCP team

The HACCP team must be proportionate to the size, risk and complexity of the business operation. The team must have the technical expertise and awareness of the potential hazards and control associated with the animal feed production.

2. Describe the products and processes

A detailed description of the process and final products will be provided.

3. Identify intended users

The intended users of the final product are stated.

4. Construct a flow diagram

A systematic representation of the sequence of steps involved in the production of the final product is constructed. Typically, this starts with the purchase of raw materials to the customer.

5. Validate the flow diagram

Validating that the constructed flow diagram accurately reflects what happens during production

6. Conduct a hazard analysis (Principle 1)

Hazard analysis involves:

  • Identifying the hazards that may affect the process
  • Identifying the steps were hazards are likely to occur
  • Deciding which hazards are significant
  • Determining the measures necessary to control the hazards

7. Determine the critical control points (CCPs) (Principle 2)

These are the steps where control measures are necessary to prevent biological, chemical or physical hazards presenting a safety risk to animals or consumers.

8. Establish critical limits for each CCP (Principle 3)

Critical limits are the values which are set for control measures to ensure the feed is safe. Critical limits should be unambiguous and measurable. If a critical limit is breached the feed should be rejected. To avoid waste and allow corrective action to be taken before the critical limit is breached, it is advisable to set a target level. If the target level is breached, corrective action can be taken to get it back within the target. Critical limits include time, temperature, size, weight and appearance/colour. Objective and measurable parameters are preferable.

9. Monitoring of control measures at each CCP (Principle 4)

Monitoring is necessary to confirm that the process is under control and critical limits are not exceeded. Monitoring systems should state:

  • What the critical limits and target levels are
  • How the monitoring should be undertaken
  • Where the monitoring should be taken
  • When the monitoring should be taken
  • When the monitoring should be undertaken
  • Who is responsible for monitoring

10. Establish corrective actions (Principle 5)

Corrective action is the action taken when a critical limit is exceeded. There are two parts to corrective action. Firstly, what to do with the affected product, and secondly, bringing the process back under control. Procedures for corrective action should outline:

  • the action to be taken and by who (e.g. how to deal with the product, product, stop production, issue a recall)
  • who should be notified
  • who can authorise the restart of production or sales

11. Establish verification procedures (Principle 6)

Verification involves the use of methods, procedures and tests, in addition to those used in monitoring to demonstrate that the decisions made in the development of the HACCP study are valid and effective. A number of methods can be used to verify the HACCP system:

  • Examining monitoring records, deviations and complaints
  • Auditing the HACCP system to ensure all hazards and CCPs have been identified and controls and monitoring remain effective is the most common verification technique

The HACCP plan should be reviewed periodically, when a change has occurred (e.g. new raw material, equipment, recipe or packaging) and when a complaint or illness has occurred.

12. Establish documentation and record-keeping (Principle 7)

Documentation helps to demonstrate compliance to the HACCP plan and to support a due-diligence defense if this is required in court.

Documentation to support the HACCP system may include:

  • Details of the HACCP team
  • The scope and terms of reference
  • The product and process description
  • The intended customers
  • A floor plan
  • The flow diagram
  • The prerequisite programmes
  • Hazard analysis and CCP determination
  • Critical limits, targets, deviations and corrective actions
  • Signed and dated monitoring records
  • Validation, verification and review procedures
  • Audit reports

What we would like you to do

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations put together examples of the application of HACCP to mycotoxin control.

Please review these examples here to see how the 12 steps of HACCP are implemented within a feed business.

Please share your thoughts on at least one of these examples:

  • Do you agree with the CCP’s identified?

  • Did the examples help you to understand how a HACCP study is implemented?

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This article is from the free online course:

Animal Feed Production: Feed Quality

EIT Food

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