Principle 7: Establish documentation and record keeping
Efficient and accurate record-keeping is essential to the application of a HACCP system.
How is this stage achieved?
In the unfortunate event of a food safety incident that is connected to your products you may have to show that you have taken all reasonable precautions to produce food safely. Demonstrating that the principles of HACCP have been correctly applied as required by law and that documentation and records are kept, may provide evidence of due diligence in the event of legal action.
Documentation and record-keeping should be:
- Appropriate to the nature and size of the operation – your local environmental health practitioner will be able to guide you on this requirement.
- Sufficient to assist the business to verify that the HACCP controls are in place and being maintained.
What to consider regarding documentation
- What records need to be kept?
- How are they to be stored – e.g. hard copy, electronic?
- Where are the documents to be stored?
- How long are the records to be retained for? (what is an appropriate time, think about the shelf-life of the product and possibly how the product may be misused)
- Who is responsible for the records?
- Who needs frequent access to the records?
Examples of documentation
- The HACCP plan
- List of hazards and details of the hazard analysis
- CCP determination
- Critical limit determination
- Training needs analysis
- Procedures – e.g. standard operating procedures, corrective action procedure
- Work Instructions
Examples of records
- CCP monitoring activities
- Deviations and associated corrective actions
- Verification procedures performed
- Modification to the HACCP plan
- Training undertaken
- Daily records (glass and brittle plastic check)
- Visual inspection reports
- Team meeting records
- Processing records
A review of this principle should be scheduled and triggered if there are changes within the company (see Principle 6).
During a review you may wish to consider the following:
- Does the documentation cover all of the HACCP system operation?
- How is the document controlled with regards to update and issue etc?
- Are all documents accurate and current?
- Are verification procedures documented?
- How is change and version control managed?