What does this mean?
A hazard is something that has the potential to cause harm. This principle requires you to identify all such hazards that may reasonably occur in the production of your food. Hazards may be physical, chemical, allergenic or microbiological in nature and, depending on the size and complexity of your food business, you may need to consider each category in turn.
How is this stage achieved?
You should already have completed much of the groundwork for this step in Preparatory Stage C by identifying relevant hazards. If you skipped this stage then you are encouraged to return and complete it now.
Once you have produced a list of relevant hazards, you should refer to your process flow diagram (see Preparatory Stage G) and work through each process step of the flow diagram in a logical way, recording the relevant hazards on MyHACCP as you go.
When identifying hazards you should consider:
- The likely presence of the hazard in raw materials
- Whether the hazard may be introduced during a process step
- Potential for the survival, multiplication or increase in frequency of a hazard at a process step
What will be the result?
On completion of this stage you will have completed a list of hazards which are reasonably likely to occur in your food. This can be considered to be a "long list" which will now be subject to a process of evaluation to reduce it to a "short list" of hazards that should be considered further in this study.