Preparatory Stage A: Prerequisite food hygiene requirements


There are two key components to an effective food safety management system:

  1. A properly established and implemented pre-requisite programme.

  2. The development, implementation and maintenance of suitable procedures based on the HACCP principles.

Prior to starting a HACCP study using MyHACCP, you should ensure that the prerequisite food hygiene requirements are met.


What is meant by a prerequisite food hygiene requirement?

Prerequisites are the basic hygienic and operational conditions that should be put in place before a food-specific HACCP study is carried out. They are general in nature and the implementation of a properly developed prerequisite programme will ensure that general hygiene standards are achieved. The implementation of a suitable prerequisite programme is essential to the proper development of a HACCP system as many food hazards can be eliminated through the adoption of good hygiene practices. Prerequisite requirements can be based on Good Hygiene Practices (GHP) (such appropriate cleaning, disinfection and personal hygiene) and/or Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) (such as process temperature control and product formulation).

Some prerequisites are legal requirements set out in, for example, Annex II of Regulation (EC) 852/2004[1] and, for products of animal origin, in Annex III of regulation (EC) 853/2004.Others are matters of good practice set out in the codex “General Principles of Food Hygiene”.[2] Some examples of prerequisite issues which may be included within a prerequisite programme include but are not limited to: 

  1. Location of food establishments

  2. Layout and design of food premises

  3. Structure and condition of food premises

  4. Food allergen control

  5. Supplier control

  6. Storage and transport

  7. Equipment

  8. Personal hygiene

  9. Temperature control

  10. Training

  11. Cleaning

  12. Pest control

  13. Waste control

  14. Traceability

  15. Product withdrawal




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