HACCP has become an acronym commonly used in the food industry. Pronounced hassup it stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point and is the title of an internationally recognised food safety management system.

Designed to ensure that safe food is produced every time, in many countries HACCP based systems have become a legal requirement for food businesses. Many food business operators have sought assistance from HACCP products to ensure that they meet these new legal requirements.

HACCP products have been produced by commercial companies and in some cases by government sponsored organisations. The main purpose of HACCP products is to simplify the HACCP process. This process consists of: hazard analysis, identification of critical control points, establishment of critical limits, introduction of a monitoring system, defining corrective actions, setting up a means of verification and providing appropriate documentation.

As can be seen from the above list, if your main skills lie in running a food business, perhaps quite a small business, the idea of setting up a HACCP system can be quite daunting. It is usually smaller food businesses that HACCP products have been aimed at.

HACCP products are usually computer-based systems that by entering details about the nature of the food business, types of food produced, the various processes and other details will result in the production of a HACCP plan, usually together with the necessary documentation.

One notable exception to rule that HACCP products are computer-based is a semi official HACCP product called “Safer Food Better Business” (SFBB). This has been produced for use in England and Wales and distributed free of charge through local authorities and the Food Standards Agency. SFBB is a paper-based system which makes use of photographs and other illustrations to allow small business proprietors to establish a relatively standard HACCP system and then record their monitoring in a diary.

Safer Food Better Business has proved a popular HACCP product. Together with commercially available computer-based HACCP products this means that help is available for those food businesses that wish to set up a HACCP system without the employment of a costly consultant.

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