Every so often, ServSafe food managers will come across literature from the FDA or other sources that refer to HACCP procedures. HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) is a common system for reducing the risk of spreading food-borne illness and keeping the food supply safe. While HACCP standards and action plans are not commonly required in restaurants, many food-producing outlets and raw ingredient suppliers must follow these guidelines.
What is HACCP?
HACCP is not quite as complicated as it may sound. The intent of this system is to identify potential food-safety hazards and then take steps to keep food production safe. The basic outline of a Hazard Analysis Critical Contol Point plan looks something like the following:
- Evaluate and identify potential hazards in production
- Identify critical points and establish controls to prevent hazards
- Establish procedures to monitor and measure
- Correct hazards
- Keep records of hazards and correction procedures
Whether your facility follows the FDA’s HACCP system or not, these are still steps ServSafe food managers should take. Every facility has its potential hazards whether they come from hot holding, chilling of cooked product or the risks of cross-contamination in storage or prep stations. Once these potential risks are identified and assessed, it is important to monitor them to ensure food safety. This monitoring can come in the form of routine measurement of temperatures, verifying that proper storage and sanitation procedures are followed or any other step that helps keep food safe at these critical points of production.