Preparatory Stage A: Prerequisite food hygiene requirements


Prior to the application of HACCP based food safety controls, you should consider the prerequisite food hygiene requirement for your business.

What is meant by a prerequisite food hygiene requirement?

The HACCP based controls that you are developing will be specific to your business, processes and products. Additionally there are some controls for food safety that are common in that they are required in most food businesses.  They need to be in place well before HACCP based controls specific to your business are implemented - they are prerequisites to HACCP.

There are hazards that can occur at numerous steps in the process (not specific to one particular process step) or have the potential to occur across the establishment.  These are often controlled by prerequisite food hygiene requirements that are ‘generic’ (e.g. pest control, training, good hygiene practice).

The control of these hazards is a pre-requirement to HACCP, the control mechanisms have thus been termed ‘prerequisite requirements’.  The prerequisite requirements are vital to ensure that the base environmental and operating conditions are appropriate and suitable for the production of safe food.

If prerequisite food hygiene requirements  are effectively implemented and managed they underpin the HACCP system.

How is this stage achieved?

Prior to commencing a HACCP study the company should ensure that the prerequisite food hygiene requirements are implemented and followed to control the generic hazard.

A list of typical prerequisite food hygiene requirements is given in Preparatory Stage A (you can find more information on these by downloading the document "General requirements to be considered for each prerequisite"). The list is not exhaustive so thought must also be given to other areas of the business that require control.  Any additional prerequisite food hygiene requirements  identified should be added.

Factors to consider for each of the prerequisite food hygiene requirements that you identify, include but are not limited to:-

  1. Define exactly what the prerequisite is there to do.

  2. How is the prerequisite going to be checked, by whom and when?

The frequency can be influenced by the nature and size of your business and the nature of the prerequisite food hygiene requirement.

  1. What corrective action is going to be taken if you experience a loss of control at a prerequisite food hygiene requirement ?

  2. Who is going to review the prerequisite food hygiene requirement and how frequently?

  3. What is going to be documented?

It is expected that all prerequisite food hygiene requirements should be well established, fully operational, documented including records and verified.  Evidence of the effectiveness of the prerequisite food hygiene requirement should be maintained.

Further information available from:

SALSA (Safe and Local Supplier Approval)

PD ISO/TS 22002-1:2009   Prerequisite programmes on food safety.  Available to purchase.

Campden BRI HACCP: a practical guide (Fourth edition), 2009 Guideline no. 42.  Available to purchase.

Codex Alimentarius Food hygiene (basic texts) Fourth Edition.

Codex Codes of practice – for instance Chocolate and sugar confectionery code of practice.

Appropriate Industry guides