What is HACCP?
HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. A HACCP plan is developed by a food establishment manager and implemented by food workers to control for potential hazards in food.
By using a HACCP plan, you can help your customers avoid dangerous food hazards and fully enjoy their meals. To learn more about the specifics, check out our in-depth article on HACCP plans.
HACCP requirements in Texas
If you own a food establishment, it’s a great idea to create a HACCP plan as a cautionary measure to keep consumers safe from hazards. There are also certain circumstances where a HACCP plan is required by federal or Texas law.
If you do any of the following things at your establishment, you may be required to submit a HACCP plan to your local regulatory agency:
- Process fish and fishery products
- Process juice
- Utilize reduced oxygen packaging without a variance from a regulatory agency
- Serve raw animal food products or lightly cooked food products, including rare meat
- Preserve food by smoking it
- Cure food
- Use food additives or add components such as vinegar as a method of food preservation
- Operate a Molluscan shellfish life-support system display tank housing shellfish served as food
- Prepare food by a unique method that requires a variance from a regulatory agency (for example, you might request a variance to allow your chefs to use bare-hand contact)
- Operate a federally inspected establishment
The plan should include:
- Categorization of the types of TCS foods served in your establishment (ex: soups, salads, meats)
- A flow diagram listing critical control points for each category of food (check out this example from the FDA — see page 412)
- An employee training plan that addresses food safety concerns for the establishment (our Texas food handler course can help)
- A statement of procedures your employees will follow under the HACCP plan
- Any additional scientific information that verifies the plan doesn’t increase the risk of food safety violations
HACCP plan template
You may use the following HACCP plan template for beef steaks. This template is based on the FDA’s standardized form (see page 406):
Company Name: Big Beef Industries
Company Address: 123 Pasture Lane, Austin, TX 78751
Product Description: Angus beef (Bos taurus). Fresh beef steaks packaged with air-permeable overwrap.
Method of Distribution and Storage: Distributed to wholesale markets in refrigerated trucks kept below 32°F and stored in refrigerators kept below 32°F.
Intended Use and Consumer: To be at least partially cooked before consumption by the general public.
Significant Hazard(s): Foodborne illness-causing bacteria may be present on undercooked beef served to a customer, or beef that is improperly packaged and refrigerated. Beef packaged with air-permeable overwrap typically has a short shelf life as well (3-7 days).
Critical Control Points: The beef will be packaged on a foam try with an absorbent pad underneath with air-permeable overwrap packaging. The package will be labeled with instructions to cook beef to a proper temperature to kill bacteria. It will also be labeled with the packaging date and the “best if used by” date. The beef will be stored with proper refrigeration.
Critical Limits for Each Preventive Measure: Once the beef is packaged, it will be held in refrigeration below 32°F. It will be held for no longer than 7 days, at which point it will be thrown away. The packaging will indicate that the beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F before consumption.
|What (What will be monitored?)||How (How will it be monitored?)||Frequency (How often will it be monitored?)||Who (Who will monitor it?)|
|Temperature of refrigerated beef; Number of days beef has been in storage; Whether the beef packaging has been damaged in any way||Check refrigerator thermometer and fill out a temperature log; Check packaging and “best if used by” date every 24 hours and fill out packaging and expiration date log||The logs will be filled out at least once every 24 hours||Evening shift manager|
Corrective Action(s): The evening shift manager will throw beef away immediately if: it is found to be held above 32°F, it is past its “best if used by” date, or its packaging is found to be damaged in any way.
Records: The following records will be kept for work done in the past two years:
- Name and location of the company.
- Temperature logs, which should include the date, time, and the signature or initials of the person checking the temperature.
- Packaging and expiration date logs, which should include the same information indicated for the temperature logs.
Verification: The following verification actions will take place:
- Each day: Make a visual check of the refrigerator thermometer, temperature log, and packaging and expiration date log. Make sure the thermometer doesn’t look damaged and that there’s sufficient paper and ink to allow employees to fill out the logs.
- Each week: Review monitoring and corrective action records to ensure they were completed and any deviation from the critical limits was appropriately addressed.
- Each year (or more often depending on manufacturer recommendations): Calibrate the refrigerator thermometer to ensure it’s working correctly.
Once you’ve created your HACCP plan, you should sign and date it. Keep the plan on file at your establishment. Sometimes health inspectors want to see your hazard analysis notes, so you may also want to keep those on file.
Receiving HACCP training goes a long way to help food managers prepare HACCP plans for their establishments and enables better food safety practices. We’ll teach you the basics as part of our food manager training. Purchase our online training course today!
— Calvin Clark
Editor’s note: Beef packaging facts for the HACCP plan template were obtained from beefresearch.org.