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Methods Mol Biol. 2004;268:235-80.

The hazard analysis and critical control point system in food safety.

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Planta Piloto de Procesos Industriales Microbiológicos-CONICET, Tucumán, Argentina.


The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system is a preventive method of ensuring food safety. Its objectives are the identification of consumer safety hazards that can occur in the production line and the establishment of a control process to guarantee a safer product for the consumer; it is based on the identification of potential hazards to food safety and on measures aimed at preventing these hazards. HACCP is the system of choice in the management of food safety. The principles of HACCP are applicable to all phases of food production, including basic husbandry practices, food preparation and handling, food processing, food service, distribution systems, and consumer handling and use. The HACCP system is involved in every aspect of food safety production (according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] and the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods [ICMSF]). The most basic concept underlying the HACCP system is that of prevention rather than inspection. The control of processes and conditions comprises the critical control point (CCP) element. HACCP is simply a methodical, flexible, and systematic application of the appropriate science and technology for planning, controlling, and documenting the safe production of foods. The successful application of HACCP requires the full commitment and involvement of management and the workforce, using a multidisciplinary approach that should include, as appropriate, expertise in agronomy, veterinary health, microbiology, public health, food technology, environmental health, chemistry, engineering, and so on according to the particular situation. Application of the HACCP system is compatible with the implementation of total quality management (TQM) systems such as the ISO 9000 series.

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