HACCP Research Plan

Food Security Strategic Plan

HACCP Research Plan

Food Safety Identification and Control Plan

  • Background
                • The Basics
                              • Challenges
                                            • Discover
                                                          • Define
                                                                        • Design
                                                                                      • Test
                                                                                                    • Next Step


                                                                                                                  This is a project/research plan for my undergraduate Food Science class, in which we investigated a given recipe and its food production process, and then identified potential food safety risks while given suggested modifications for improvement.

                                                                                                                  So, what is HACCP anyway?

                                                                                                                  Based on U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. It's a management system where food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards of any point or procedure in a specific food system.

                                                                                                                  In other words, what I did was to:

                                                                                                                  Identify food safety risk factors, including allergen risk, from raw material to the final serving of food to consumers, and provide solutions to reduce the risks.

                                                                                                                  The Basics


                                                                                                                  Sauk Prairie Healthcare,
                                                                                                                  Food & Nutrition Director


                                                                                                                  09/2018 - 10/2018

                                                                                                                  My role

                                                                                                                  Dietetic Intern

                                                                                                                  Course instructor

                                                                                                                  Monica Theis

                                                                                                                  Research Plan

                                                                                                                  Contact me to read the full plan


                                                                                                                  Part 1 : Standard Operating Procedures

                                                                                                                  Assumptions are made that Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) is available at the client facility, to ensure that basic procedures to handle food safely are known to employees.

                                                                                                                  Therefore, the only focus here are risks introduced while food are purchased from reliable sources.

                                                                                                                  Part 2 : HACCP Plan

                                                                                                                  There are 7 principles in HACCP, and for this project only the first 5 were addressed

                                                                                                                  Principle #1 : Conduct a hazard analysis

                                                                                                                  Food safety control involves main steps from raw material to production to the final storage and serving.

                                                                                                                  During each step, there are certain risks introducing microbial, physical, chemical, or allergen hazards.

                                                                                                                  Principle #2 : Determine the critical control points (CCP)

                                                                                                                  “Critical control point” is the ONLY point (for this project) in a specific food system where loss of control may result in unacceptable health risk.

                                                                                                                  While any of these procedures could be considered as “control point”, only the one that is the last step where the hazards causing harm to customers could be prevented can be considered as CCP. A decision tree is used to help identify the CCP.

                                                                                                                  (FDA, 1997)

                                                                                                                  Principle #3 : Establish critical limits

                                                                                                                  “Critical limits” is a maximum or minimum value for preventing, eliminating or reducing the biological, chemical or physical hazard at a CCP.  

                                                                                                                  Physical: no visible hazardous foreign particle should be presented in food
                                                                                                                  Microbial: internal temperature of beef should be >= 145 ℉ for 15 s; internal temperature of vegetables should be >= 135 ℉
                                                                                                                  Chemical: unlikely to cause hazardous problem

                                                                                                                  Principle #4 : Establish monitoring procedures

                                                                                                                  Observations and measurements are conducted to assess if a CCP has been controlled.

                                                                                                                  Physical: visually check if there is foreign material present in the food
                                                                                                                  Microbial: use the calibrated thermometer to check the internal temperature of food items for each batch  
                                                                                                                  Chemical: check with cooking equipment producers about the potential risk for metal leaking
                                                                                                                  Allergic: check food labels for source of allergens

                                                                                                                  Principle #5 : Establish corrective actions

                                                                                                                  When critical limit has been exceeded, corrective actions are needed to prevent hazardous foods from reaching consumers.

                                                                                                                  Physical: retrain employees to ensure they know the SOP
                                                                                                                  Microbial: if food isn’t cooked properly, re-cook it or destroy it
                                                                                                                  Chemical: if metal leaking from stainless kettle, change equipment and purchase from approved supplier
                                                                                                                  Allergic: stop using the brand with big eight allergies, and contact people responsible for purchasing to consider other allergen-free brands

                                                                                                                  Part 3 : Allergen Risk Reduction Plan

                                                                                                                  Besides physical, chemical or biological hazards introduced to the food, allergen is a primary source of risk posing to food safety, too. Sources of allergen were identified from the recipe, and alternative ingredients were considered.

                                                                                                                  Cross-contamination during food production, and accurate communication with customers during food serving are also keys to prevent further risk from allergens.

                                                                                                                  Final Words

                                                                                                                  HACCP plan is process-specific. Therefore, hazards identified and procedures taken to reduce such risks varies from case to case. The purpose of this project is to practice applying knowledge from food management and food safety principles in a real-world case.

                                                                                                                  Please contact me if you are interested in reading my full paper