Philadelphia Department of Public Health    
Office of Food Protection

 HACCP Summary


HACCP systems are designed to provide a management tool to protect food and prevent potential food safety problems from biological, chemical or physical food borne hazards that can affect the safety to food.  Hazard analysis serves as the basis for establishing critical control points (CCPs).  CCPs identify those points in the process that must be controlled to ensure the safety to food. Appropriate parameters or critical limits are established that must be met for each CCP.  Monitoring and verification steps are included in the system, and monitoring and verification steps are documented in a HACCP plan.

A comprehensive HACCP plan and associated records will include all of the following:

(1)               Listing of the HACCP team and assigned responsibilities;
(2)               Description of the product and its intended use;
(3)               Flow diagram of food preparation steps or activities indicating CCP’s;
(4)               Hazards associated with each CCP identified and the preventive measures needed to
            control the CCP will be specified;
(5)               Critical limits for each CCP prescribed will ensure the safety of the food without
            failing to meet the safety criteria of the CCP;
(6)               Monitoring systems(s) will be specified that will indicate the frequency of monitoring,
            tools or equipment, and the methods to perform the monitoring;
(7)               Corrective action plans for deviations from critical limits;
(8)               Record keeping procedures; and
(9)               Procedures for verification of the HACCP system.
Seven principles that guide development of an effective HACCP plan are listed below.

#1 - HAZARD ANALYSIS – identification of hazards; biological, chemical, or physical property that can cause a food to be unsafe. The Hazard Analysis Process involves evaluating specific issues about the food or foods being handled such as:

(1)    Ingredients (2)    Intrinsic factors of food (3)    Procedures used for preparation or processing
(4)    Microbial Content of the Food (5)    Facility design (6)    Equipment design
(7)    Food Packaging (8)    Sanitation (9)    Employee health, hygiene, and education
(10)Conditions of storage between packaging and consumer use (11)Intended use (12)Intended consumer (health, age, etc.) 

#2:            IDENTIFY THE CRITICAL CONTROL POINTS (CCP) – A control point, step, or procedure at which biological, physical, or chemical factors can be controlled.

            Each step in the food handling or preparation process can be listed or diagramed to identify each step where control of identified hazards can be evaluated, measured and monitored to determine that safety measures or controls are properly applied.
            Common CCP’s for handling or preparation of potentially hazardous food may include: temperature of ready-to-eat foods at delivery; hand washing prior to handling ready-to-eat food, temperature and time for foods that are cooked, cooled, or reheated. 

set or establish a measurable limit or criteria that must be met for each preventive measure associated with CCP. 

Criteria Most Frequently Used for Critical Limits

Time  Temperature Aw (water activity) pH Titratable acidity
Humidity Viscosity Preservatives Salt concentration Available chlorine