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What Is the Difference Between HACCP Compliant and HACCP Certified?

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a generally accepted practice used in the restaurant and food services industry, as well as the food production industry. It requires businesses to identify potential food safety issues and review their entire food storage and handling processes and procedures.

The goal of using HACCP is to ensure a business is HACCP compliant. Compliance implies all aspects of food storage and handling are conducted in a safe manner. Once a business is compliant, they can participate in a certification program to become HACCP certified.

The key difference between the two is that, with certification, the restaurant or business is issued a certificate stating they are HACCP certified and adhere to all compliance standards. From a business perspective, becoming HACCP certified could help with branding and imaging.

However, before one starts the certification process, there is much work a restaurant owner must do. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has developed a set of HACCP principles and application guidelines you can use. The FDA’s HACCP principles are broken down into seven basic concepts and steps, as follows:

  1. Conduct a Hazard Analysis: At this step, you identify potential food handling, storage, and preparation risks.
  2. Determine the Critical Control Points: At this step, you identify what critical control points could be developed to prevent potential hazards you identified.
  3. Establish Critical Limits: This step requires you to set minimum and maximum control limits, such as the safe temperatures for food storage, or minimum and maximum cooking temperatures for different types of foods, and so on.
  4. Establish Monitoring Procedures: This step requires business owners to establish some sort of monitoring processes to enforce the previous three steps. This could be recording temperatures of walk-ins and other food storage areas on an hourly basis, observing how your employees handle food, and so on.
  5. Establish Corrective Actions: Whenever your monitoring procedures encounter an issue or problem, you need to have corrective action plans in place. For instance, food in a countertop cooler exceeded the maximum temperature you established at a critical control point. You would want to discard the food as waste, and then determine why the cooler is not working and get it fixed.

Food Temperature Monitoring

  1. Establish Verification Procedures: Once your HACCP principles and applications are being used on a daily basis, you need to review your procedures and ensure they have addressed all critical control points and other potential hazards you identified. If not, then make the appropriate adjustments.
  2. Establish Record-Keeping and Documentation Procedures: You will want to have record-keeping and documentation procedures to show you are recording and collecting temperature data, monitoring food handling processes, and so on.

One effective way to help with HACCP compliance and set you on the path to earning your certification is with help from ComplianceMate. Our HACCP compliance and food temperature monitoring solutions provide access to real-time data with greater accuracy to protect your food, your guests, and your brand. For a free demo, contact us at 678.526.4628 today!


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