Hazard analysis and critical control points or HACCP is a systematic preventive approach to food safety from biological, chemical, and physical hazards in production processes that can cause the finished product to be unsafe, and designs measurements to reduce these risks to a safe level. In this manner, HACCP is referred as the prevention of hazards rather than finished product inspection. The HACCP system can be used at all stages of a food chain, from food production and preparation processes including packaging, distribution, etc.
The seven HACCP principles are included in the international standard ISO 22000 FSMS 2005. This standard is a complete food safety and quality management system incorporating the elements of prerequisite programmes. HACCP and the quality management system, which together form an organization’s Total Quality Management system.
Other Standards, such as Safe Quality Food Institute’s SQF Code, also relies upon the HACCP methodology as the basis for developing and maintaining Food Safety (Level 2) and Food Quality (Level 3) Plans and programs in concert with the fundamental prerequisites of Good Manufacturing Practices.