HACCP History

On 4 October 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world's first satellite. American president Dwight D. Eisenhower responded by committing the United States to the space race. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act on 29 July 1958 that created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to put an American satellite in orbit and to get a person in space.

Food played a critical part in the manned space program. The initial group involved in this were Herbert Hollander, Mary Klicka, and Hamed El-Bisi of the United States Army Laboratories in Natick, Massachusetts and Dr. Paul A. Lachance of the Manned Spacecraft Center (Johnson Space Center since February 1973) in Houston, Texas. Pillsbury joined the program as a contractor in 1959 with Howard E. Baumann representing the company as its lead scientist. The main goal was to produce food that would not crumble under zero gravity, but also be safe to eat. Lachance imposed strict microbial requirements, including pathogen limits (including E. coli, Salmonella, and Clostridium botulinum) on all foods destined for space travel. All personnel involved realized that traditional quality control methods would be inadequate because there would be so much product testing involved for actual product to be used. NASA own requirements for Critical Control Points (CCP) in engineering management would be used as a guide for food safety. CCP derived from Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) from NASA via the munitions industry to test weapon and engineering system reliability. Using that information, NASA and Pillsbury required contractors to identify "critical failure areas" and eliminate them from the system, a first in the food industry then. Baumann, a microbiologist by training, was so pleased with Pillsbury's experience in the space program that he advocated for his company to adopt what would become HACCP at Pillsbury.

Soon thereafter, Pillsbury was confronted with a food safety issue of its own when glass was found contaminated in farina, a cereal commonly used in infant food. Baumann's leadership promoted HACCP in Pillsbury for producing commercial foods, and applied to its own food production. This led to a panel discussion at the 1971 National Conference on Food Protection that included examining CCPs and Good Manufacturing Practices in producing safe foods. Several botulism cases were attributed to under-processed low-acid canned foods in 1970-71. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked Pillsbury to organize and conduct a training program on the inspection of canned foods for FDA inspectors. This 21 day program was first held in September 1972 with 11 days of classroom lecture and 10 days of canning plant evaluations. Canned food regulations (21 CFR 108, 21 CFR 110, 21 CFR 113, and 21 CFR 114) were first published in 1973. Pillsbury's training program to the FDA in 1972, titled "Food Safety through the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System", was the first time that HACCP was used.

HACCP was initially set on three principles, now shown as principles one, two, and four in the section below. Pillsbury quickly adopted two more principles, numbers three and five, to its own company in 1975. It was further supported by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that governmental inspections by the FDA go from reviewing plant records to compliance with its HACCP system. A second proposal by the NAS led to the development of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) in 1987. NACMCF was initially responsible for defining HACCP's systems and guidelines for its application and were coordinated with the Codex Committee for Food Hygiene, that led to reports starting in 1992 and further harmonization in 1997. By 1997, the seven HACCP principles listed below became the standard. A year earlier, the American Society for Quality offered their first certifications for HACCP Auditors. (First known as Certified Quality Auditor-HACCP, they were changed to Certified HACCP Auditor (CHA) in 2004.

HACCP expanded in all realms of the food industry, going into meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, and has spread now from the farm to the fork.

Basic principles and methodliogy

Principle 1: Conduct a hazard analysis. – Plans determine the food safety hazards and identify the preventive measures the plan can apply to control these hazards. A food safety hazard is any biological, chemical, or physical property that may cause a food to be unsafe for human consumption.

Principle 2: Identify critical control points. – A critical control point (CCP) is a point, step, or procedure in a food manufacturing process at which control can be applied and, as a result, a food safety hazard can be prevented, eliminated, or reduced to an acceptable level.

Principle 3: Establish critical limits for each critical control point. – A critical limit is the maximum or minimum value to which a physical, biological, or chemical hazard must be controlled at a critical control point to prevent, eliminate, or reduce to an acceptable level.

Principle 4: Establish critical control point monitoring requirements. – Monitoring activities are necessary to ensure that the process is under control at each critical control point. In the United States, the FSIS is requiring that each monitoring procedure and its frequency be listed in the HACCP plan.

Principle 5: Establish corrective actions. – These are actions to be taken when monitoring indicates a deviation from an established critical limit. The final rule requires a plant's HACCP plan to identify the corrective actions to be taken if a critical limit is not met. Corrective actions are intended to ensure that no product injurious to health or otherwise adulterated as a result of the deviation enters commerce.

Principle 6: Establish procedures for ensuring the HACCP system is working as intended. – Validation ensures that the plants do what they were designed to do; that is, they are successful in ensuring the production of a safe product. Plants will be required to validate their own HACCP plans. FSIS will not approve HACCP plans in advance, but will review them for conformance with the final rule.

Verification ensures the HACCP plan is adequate, that is, working as intended. Verification procedures may include such activities as review of HACCP plans, CCP records, critical limits and microbial sampling and analysis. FSIS is requiring that the HACCP plan include verification tasks to be performed by plant personnel. Verification tasks would also be performed by FSIS inspectors. Both FSIS and industry will undertake microbial testing as one of several verification activities.

Verification also includes 'validation' – the process of finding evidence for the accuracy of the HACCP system (e.g. scientific evidence for critical limitations).

Principle 7: Establish record keeping procedures. – The HACCP regulation requires that all plants maintain certain documents, including its hazard analysis and written HACCP plan, and records documenting the monitoring of critical control points, critical limits, verification activities, and the handling of processing deviations.


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(GMP & SSOP), HACCP and the quality management system, which together form an organization's Total Quality Management system.

HACCP training

HACCP management system trainings are only offered by several commercial enthusiasts. However, ASQ does provide Trained HACCP Auditor (CHA) exam to individuals seeking the professional training. In the UK the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) offer a HACCP for Food Manufacturing qualification accredited by the QCA (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority).

HACCP application

Applied range

It can apply to several food categories; sea food, bulk milk production line, Bulk Cream and Butter Production Line, animal meat industry, Organic Chemical Contaminants in Food, Corn Curl Manufacturing Plant, etc.

  • Fish and fishery products
  • Fresh-cut produce
  • Juice and nectary products
  • Food outlets
  • Meat and poultry products
  • School food and services

HACCP Implementation

It involves monitoring, verifying and validating of the daily work that is compliant with regulatory requirements in all stages all the time. The differences among those three types of work are given by Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food.

HACCP versus ISO 22000

ISO 22000 is the new standard bound to replace HACCP on issues related to food safety. Although several companies, especially the big ones, have either implemented or are on the point of implementing ISO 22000, there are many others which are rather timid and/or reluctant to implement it. The main reason behind that is the lack of information and the fear that the new standard is too demanding in terms of bureaucratic work, from abstract of case study.

ISO 22000 will not replace HACCP. The requirements for HACCP are set with global agreement by the United Nations Codex Alimentarius Commission - and these are the basis for international trade and national legislation around the world. HACCP is a system - ISO 22000 is a standard. ISO 22000 can be used to measure the success of a company's implementation of HACCP, as well as pre-requsites to HACCP and quality systems. There are other standards that can also be used - ISO 22000 is not the only one.