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Review of the Current Guidance on the Implementation of HACCP Principles


<p>The objective of the two-part review was to:</p>

<p>Part 1: Identify general and food sector specific guidance that is currently available on HACCP, and its implementation</p>

Part 2: Engage with small food manufacturing businesses to establish whether:
<ul><li>they had problems with the guidance that was currently available</li>
<li>there are gaps in the available guidance</li>
<li>they actually required guidance on the implementation of HACCP-based controls and the associated legislative requirement</li>
<li>HACCP-based requirements were imposed by their customers and if so to what extent</li></ul>

<p>The approach used for each element was:

<p>Part 1
<br/>A desk top review of sources of information on HACCP, available to business from regulatory authorities, organisations aiming to support small and medium enterprises, trade associations and other relevant organisations.</p>

Websites were searched using specific terms and, where there was no inbuilt search facility the website areas relating to publications, services and training were examined. The following were noted:
<ul><li>publications or other information available</li>
<li>accessibility – was the information free to download or order, was purchase required and was it restricted to associates of the site only</li>
<li>the format of the information</li></ul>

<p>Part 2
<br/>A list of small food manufacturers, employing fewer than 50 people, was compiled. The companies listed were obtained from various relevant sources including trade associations, local authorities, regional food groups and Campden BRI information.</p>

<p>A set of questions, approved by the Agency, was used to achieve Part 2 of the objectives. A hundred food businesses, chosen by geographic region, business size and business sector, took part in the telephone survey.</p>

Interviewees were asked to:
<ul><li>state the guidance they used</li>
<li>how frequently they reviewed it</li>
<li>rate how useful the guidance was on a scale of 1-10</li>
<li>identify the main types of problems experienced against pre-determined areas</li></ul>

Further questioning revealed:
<ul><li>if businesses actually still required HACCP guidance</li>
<li>those which had HACCP-based requirements imposed by their customers</li>
<li>if those requirements were perceived as beyond the scope of regulations and burdensome</li></ul>

More information

<p>Background: The Department of Business Industry and Science (BIS) indicated to the Agency that small food manufacturing businesses required assistance in implementing the requirement for a HACCP based food safety management system.</p>

<p>The Agency already provides a support tool for lower risk food businesses, known as Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) which has been well received. However, the increased complexity of food manufacturing processes is likely to present a higher level of hazard, requiring more sophisticated food safety controls.</p>

<p>The Agency intends to develop a web-based support tool to meet the described need. It commissioned this review to establish what guidance was currently available and if small food manufacturing businesses considered it to be sufficient, useful and whether they were using it. </p>

Campden BRI
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