What is HACCP?

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point

HACCP is a management method to ensure food product safety by establishing particularly critical processes (Critical Control Points) which help to prevent risks in food processing. This involves determining processes that can be carried out in each of the food processing stages such as manufacturing processes to achieve safer products, and monitoring those processes continuously. This determination is done based on prediction and analysis of risks such as bacterial and metal contamination which may occur in all food manufacturing and processing stages (Hazard Analysis).

Compared to hygiene process management up to now which is based on sampling inspection, HACCP makes it possible to prevent shipping of unacceptable products more effectively (in previous inspections, results sometimes become known only after shipment) and to facilitate investigation of the cause.

This method has been set forth by the Codex Alimentarius (CODEX) Commission, a body jointly established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations. This is an internationally recognized method whose application is recommended to all countries.

The EU has already made it obligatory for all food businesses. The US has gradually been introducing it since September 2016. Canada, Taiwan, South Korea and Australia are taking the steps to make it compulsory.

In Japan’s revised Food Sanitation Act enacted on June 7, 2018, Article 50-2 stipulates (makes it compulsory) that food businesses shall adopt HACCP in their operation systems. This legal obligation has begun. The rice milling industry, however, has been using “Rice Milling HACCP”, since fall of 2016 to ensure the safety of milled rice products.

Necessity and Effectiveness of HACCP

  • Safety is the top priority and the first requirement of food. By using HACCP, producers can provide safe food to their customers.
  • Checking management of each manufacturing process ensures product safety and reliable quality, and allows rapid response in case of product abnormalities.
  • The use of HACCP will raise safety awareness of employees.