Introduction to MyHACCP

Background

Every food business has a responsibility to ensure food is safe for consumption.  In addition to this food law[1] places a legal requirement on food business operators to put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.

A food safety management system based on HACCP principles should identify, evaluate and control hazards which are significant to the safety of the food being produced by the business.

There are seven principles, or stages, that underpin a HACCP system which  are outlined below.

Principle 1

Conduct a hazard analysis

Principle 2

Determine the Critical Control Points (CCPs)

Principle 3

Establish critical limit(s)

Principle 4

Establish a system to monitor control of the CCP

Principle 5

Establish the corrective action to be taken when monitoring indicates that a particular CCP is not under control

Principle 6

Establish procedures for verification to confirm that the HACCP system is working effectively

Principle 7

Establish documentation concerning all procedures and records appropriate to these principles and their application.

About MyHACCP

The purpose of MyHACCP is to provide a web based tool to help support small food manufacturing businesses (SFMBs) in their development of a HACCP based food safety management system (FSMS).  However the HACCP principles are applicable to all types of food businesses and this tool will be useful to other types of food business when producing their HACCP based food safety management system.

Preparing an effective food safety management system based on HACCP principles takes some time but it is a worthwhile investment in food safety and compliance with the requirements of food law. Working through MyHACCP is not intended to  be a quick exercise.  It is estimated that working through MyHACCP and the associated offline tasks will take a number of days, the total depending on the complexity of your products and food operations, but you can log on and off as you wish, saving the progress you have made. The MyHACCP tool guides you through the process and provides you with template documents to support your controls.

We are confident that if you were to set about creating a HACCP based system without the aid of MyHACCP it would take you longer.

Preparing for your HACCP study

You may have some information readily available that will be useful in compiling your HACCP plan, however much of the information to complete this will need to be researched or resourced.  If you are able to obtain any of the following prior to beginning MyHACCP it may be useful:

  • A list of staff names that will be involved in the HACCP study and any relevant qualifications.
  • A list of all ingredients and supplier of the ingredients for the products you wish to be covered in your HACCP plan.
  • A plan of the production process.
  • Any record sheets you may have produced e.g.
    • temperature monitoring sheets (e.g. oven, fridge, chiller),
    • product temperature check sheets,
    • date code check sheets,
    • certificates of analysis records,
    • visual inspection record sheets (e.g. sieve integrity checks, product colour checks)
    • metal detector checks
    • time checks (e.g. how long products are baked or fried).

Organising your HACCP studies

Before beginning MyHACCP consider the following:-

  1. What products and processes do you wish to be covered in the overall HACCP plan?

    e.g My overall HACCP plan will cover everything from raw materials through to despatch to the customer for the following products:-

    • Cakes (éclairs, doughnuts and profiteroles)
    • Croissants
    • Fruit loaf
    • Cookies (fruit, milk chocolate and white chocolate)
  2. To help develop the HACCP plan it may be easier to consider products or processes separately, these can be covered by separate HACCP studies. You can use the MyHACCP web tool to develop each study.

HACCP Study Number / Name

Process covered by the study

Products/ingredients covered by the study

 

  1.  

receipt and storage of

all raw materials

  1.  

production of

éclairs and profiteroles

  1.  

production of

custard and jam doughnuts

  1.  

production of

croissants

  1.  

production of

fruit loaf

  1.  

production of

cookies (milk chocolate, white chocolate and fruit)

 

  1.  

despatch to the customer

cakes (éclairs, doughnuts and profiteroles), croissants, fruit loaf, cookies (fruit, milk and white chocolate)

MyHACCP has been designed as a generic tool in view of the wide range of food business operators that may wish to use the tool and the diversity of food commodities and manufacturing procedures.

Food business ownership

Ultimate responsibility for the HACCP based food safety management system rests with the food business itself; after all it is food business operators and their staff who know the process and product the best.

It is intended that MyHACCP will help to assist businesses on their journey to producing effective HACCP based food safety controls; it will not state what the business has to do.  Instead the tool will lead users through a structured step-wise process, encouraging them to think about their own process(es) and make informed decisions based on what they know or find out. MyHACCP will provide assistance at each step or point you towards more detailed background information to support your decision making.

MyHACCP Guidance

The Help section of MyHACCP contains guidance on what information you need to compile your HACCP plan.  If you are new to HACCP, you may find it useful to review the guidance before you start using the MyHACCP tool. MyHACCP is aimed at small food manufacturing businesses considered to be those with fewer than 50 employees.  There are occasions where guidance may differ for a micro company i.e. less than 10 employees compared to a small company of between 11-50 employees - where this is the case it will be stated.

Step process

MyHACCP applies a step process which you can work through logically.  The steps consist of preparatory stages A-H followed by HACCP principles 1-7 (see illustration 1 below).  You may access any part of the tool and associated advice but if you are developing HACCP based controls from the start it is strongly recommended that you work through the steps sequentially as each step in a HACCP based system is reliant on the steps before being implemented, maintained, up-dated and effective.

Illustration 1 The step process

HACCP prerequisites flow

HACCP principles flow

If you decide to use the MyHACCP tool to work through the HACCP principles only, it is very important that the preparatory steps are in place and fully effective to allow the successful application and implementation of the HACCP system.

Implementing a HACCP based food safety management system will, if carried out effectively be a useful and appropriate tool to control hazards that may occur in food and may contribute to a due-diligence defence should any formal action be taken against you under food law.

The end product

As you are taken through the steps in the MyHACCP tool it will collect your responses to questions and the supplementary information that you provide. The tool will gather this together and produce your own HACCP study that can be downloaded.

However, this is the documented plan for your controls and you will need to go on and implement them. A HACCP based food safety management system doesn’t sit on a shelf, it is a living system that you will have to review and amend as necessary when things change.

MyHACCP provides you with a suite of supporting downloadable documents, such as monitoring record sheets, to help you embed your HACCP plan and bring it to life. If you need to change your plan some time later to accommodate new products or a change in processing method, simply log back into MyHACCP, call up your stored plan, amend it and print off once more if required.

[1] Regulation (EC) No 852/2004, Article 5