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Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)

How to manage the food hygiene and safety procedures in your food business.

Last updated: 20 December 2017
Last updated: 20 December 2017

HACCP is a way of managing food safety hazards. Food safety management procedures should be based on HACCP principles. 

HACCP involves:

  • looking closely at what you do in your business, what could go wrong and what risks there are to food safety
  • identifying any critical control points the areas a business needs to focus on to ensure those risks are removed or reduced to safe levels
  • deciding what action you need to take if something goes wrong
  • making sure that your procedures are being followed and are working
  • keeping records to show your procedures are working

It is important to have food safety management procedures that are appropriate for your business.

Explaining hazards

A hazard is something that is dangerous. A food hazard is something that could make food unsafe or unfit to eat. It’s important you can identify those stages in your business when hazards could be present so they can be removed or reduced to safe levels.

There are three main types of food safety hazards:

  • microbiological - involving harmful bacteria
  • chemical - involving chemical contamination
  • physical - involving objects getting into food

Food safety management procedures

You must develop your own procedures based on the principles of HACCP.

Businesses must comply with the legal requirements by following good hygiene practice.

HACCP system in meat plants

Meat plants are required to implement and maintain hygiene procedures based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles for meat plants.


MyHACCP is a free web tool that will guide you through the process of developing a food safety management system based on the HACCP principles.

This tool will produce a food safety management system for your business. This will show how your business can identify and control any hazards that occur in the food you manufacture.

MyHACCP is aimed at small food manufacturing businesses in the UK. This can include businesses with fifty or fewer employees. Access to the tool is not available to food businesses outside the UK.

MyHACCP step by step

You will need to:

  • sign up for a MyHACCP account
  • start the process at the beginning or at any point – you can come back and finish it at any time
  • complete the MyHACCP process - you can preview what the output will look like at any stage
  • print or download the completed food safety management system documents for your records

Smaller businesses and retailers

Our Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) or Safe Catering (Northern Ireland) packs provide a simpler approach if your food production processes are simple.