HACCP Training — What You Need to Know

Charlette Beasley

Charlette is a writer and content strategist in Florida. She writes payroll content for Fit Small Business and helps her own clients create industry-specific copy for their business. In addition, she loves “beaching” with her two kids.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Training helps prepare leaders in the food service industry for their role in managing food safety. There are numerous training programs from which you can choose; you can sign up for yourself or an employee, starting at $25 and upwards to $1,000 or more. The most important factors to consider when selecting the best HACCP training are the needs of your company, the number of employees need to be trained, your budget, accreditation, and flexibility of the program.

Chef washing his hands

What is HACCP certification?

HACCP certification is the outcome of a successful training program that food service leaders take to learn about identifying and managing the food contamination risks in their company. Eligible courses can be completed online or face-to-face, depending on the vendor from which you’re purchasing. Online courses tend to be self-paced and are usually available on-demand. Curriculum covered can vary, but generally, all enrollees will learn the seven principles that guide HACCP.

7 principles of HACCP training

The seven principles on which HACCP is based provides valuable insight into the steps you should follow to develop a HACCP plan for your business. Once you identify the areas of concern, you’ll be responsible for setting controls and testing them for reasonableness.

The seven principles of a HACCP plan are:

  • Conduct hazard analysis: In this step, you’ll assess your process from purchasing and receiving food products and ingredients to serving them with customer orders. You’ll identify steps in which hazards, whether physical, biological, or chemical, can enter, and determine how much risk those hazards pose.
  • Identify critical control points (CCPs): Critical control points form the basis of HACCP. In this step, you’ll review the steps in your process to determine where you can implement controls to eliminate or prevent the hazards identified Principle 1.
  • Establish critical limits for each critical control point: Here, you’ll consider the criteria that must be met to control the hazard at each CCP. It could be a limit for temperature, salt level PH, etc., and so on.
  • Establish critical control point monitoring requirements: Once you establish limits to control each hazard, you’ll have to decide how you will monitor what happens at the control points. Will monitoring be continuous or every so often? It’s also important to figure out what you’ll measure and how.
  • Establish corrective actions: You’ll establish a plan to follow when the critical limits you set are not met. It’s important to create actions that will ensure no contaminated product is release. You’re responsible for identifying the cause of any critical limits not being met as well as ways to eliminate the problem and prevent it from occurring again.
  • Establish record-keeping procedures: You should create templates that can be used to document all development, monitoring, and corrective activities. It’s important that adequate documentation is maintained for review and verification purpose.
  • Establish verification procedures: Before implementing a newly developed HACCP plan, you should test it to ensure it works effectively in preventing the distribution of contaminated food product from your business. By the end of the process, you should have an official set of procedures that ensure HACCP is followed in the workplace. Everyone involved should be able to follow the procedures easily to comply with HACCP plan requirements.

A good HACCP training program will ensure you understand each principle completely to better support you at providing safe food to customers.

What does HACCP training cost?

HACCP training costs vary. If you’re an employer and you just need a course to bring your employees up-to-speed on what HACCP means in addition to their role in food safety, you can pay as little as $25 for one employee. To get certification for yourself, you may pay $400 or $1,000. Accreditation is important, and the stronger it is, the more expensive the program usually costs. Many programs turn to the International HACCP Alliance for their accreditation needs, because it’s reputable and internationally recognized.

Who needs HACCP training?

All food service leaders should seek HACCP training so their organization always has someone on staff who’s familiar with the process. You should consider purchasing training for other employees, like cooks and servers, so they can connect to the basics of food safety. Some courses are specifically sold for non-management employees, while others offer a blended course that targets all workers, including the owner.

HACCP training is important so that food service managers can accurately identify hazards during the food handling and preparation process. This can save thousands of dollars in lawsuits for selling contaminated food and prevent potentially dangerous cross-contamination. The course usually takes less than 20 hours and can be completed within a week or less, although many programs offer a maximum of three years to finish.

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