There’s no doubt about it. The process of handling, preparing and serving food isn’t an easy one. With so many aspects of hygiene and contamination to consider, regulating safe food consumption can be tricky.
But not with a HACCP plan.
If you’re well versed in the restaurant industry, you’ll likely know a thing or two about HACCP. The science-based system is used worldwide to identify and control food safety-related risks, providing assurance that your hospitality business is well managed.
Below we give you the lockdown on why HACCP is important - and how Hopsy can help...
What is HACCP?
HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point. It is an international system used to maximise food hygiene across the F&B industry, from manufacturers to pubs and restaurants.
By identifying and preventing problems that could arise along the production chain, HACCP ensures your products are free from contamination.
This not only provides assurance to your customers and regulatory agencies. It saves hours of time - and money - spent worrying or inspecting the end result. If HACCP says your process is hazard-free, then you can bet your bottom dollar your menu is safe to eat.
Three initial principles have now developed into seven HACCP standards which, when followed, ensure a business prepares and produces the highest quality grade of food.
Conduct a Hazard Analysis
The first stage of HACCP is identifying all potential hazards. It is recommended to list every step of your food production process, highlighting any risks along the way.
You’ll need to consider three categories of hazards; physical, biological and chemical. Evaluate how big each risk is to the rest of the process or your customer.
Identify Critical Control Points
When a hazard is identified, certain actions must be taken immediately to reduce, prevent or eliminate the risk. These are known as critical control points (CCP). For example, noting ingredients containing nuts or keeping your fridge to the correct temperature.
It is crucial to train all employees to confidently spot critical control points for food safety.
Establish Critical Limits
Next, each CCP needs to have a critical limit; either a minimum or maximum value. These determine if a hazard is within an acceptable value or not.
For example, meat will need to reach a certain temperature when cooked. A higher temperature may be acceptable, but a lower temperature is not.
Monitor Critical Control Points
This step determines how you will measure CCPs. They will need to be constantly monitored to ensure critical limits aren’t breached. Continuous measurement is always the best option however regular monitoring at every CCP is common practice.
You’ll need to decide how, when and by who each measurement will be taken.
Establish Corrective Actions
When an issue occurs, you’ll require a plan in place for how to respond. These are your corrective actions.
Clearly outline how you’ll make sure no harmful produce enters your business and risks being served to customers. These rules must then be followed by all members of staff. For example, food left out of the fridge over a certain amount of time must be thrown out.
Establish Record Keeping Procedures
The penultimate step involves recording your safety measures through a series of documentation. Depending on your business, these may be required by law.
It’s important to keep a record of all procedures for health inspections and to help staff avoid future safety problems. The easiest way to do this is with an online compliance platform that collates and analyses data.
Establish Verification Procedures
The last principle of the HACCP plan is to ensure and measure its effectiveness. This includes performing verification checks and regular inspections to confirm your process is hazard-proof.
Implementing a HACCP system is crucial for all hospitality businesses who serve or sell food produce. This not only ensures you are following the law, but also helps to achieve a 5 star food safety rating.
By sticking to an effective plan, HACCP certified businesses can create a brand that their customers trust and are loyal to.
The seven principles of HACCP help businesses to develop a solid food safety plan.
This might feel like another pile of paperwork on top of your long list of daily tasks. But with Hopsy you can manage and store all your compliance standards in one place. From health and safety to food and licensing.
Our fully online solution has all the operation tools you need to run your business. And rumour has it, there’s a HACCP feature coming soon…