HACCP Compliance

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What is HACCP Certification?

What is HACCP Certification?

HACCP Certification is a system that recognizes that a food business has developed, documented and implemented systems and procedures in accordance with HACCP. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control point and is basically a tool to help identify and control food safety hazards that may occur within the food business.

It is granted by an external certification authority that has the necessary knowledge and skills to undertake an assessment of the HACCP system or HACCP plan. The food business should always ensure that the external or third-party certification body has the necessary qualifications to provide this service.

Why have HACCP Certification?

Different businesses will have certification for different reasons. It is a common “condition of trade” that food business and food manufacturers have 3rd-party certification. In some countries, it is also mandatory or a legal requirement that the food business has a certified HACCP system in place. Proactive food businesses will gain HACCP certification to ensure that all possible food safety risks are covered – which makes good and logical business sense.

How do you get HACCP Certified?

To gain certification by a reputable certification provider, the food business is required to undergo an audit or assessment of its food safety and HACCP policies and procedures. This assessment is required to be undertaken by a competent and qualified food safety auditor.

To check the credentials of food safety auditors you can visit Exemplar Global which is the professional body for food auditors. The audit process will involve and on-site inspection of the food business practices and a review of both company documentation and records.

How long does an audit take?

It really depends on the rules that apply to the type of certification you are trying to achieve and also the physical size of the food business. Food HACCP audits can take anywhere between 1 day and 5 days. Again, it depends on the audit scope.

What does it cost to gain HACCP certification?

This will depend on the size of the food safety system and the actual physical location. When budgeting for third-party certification, costs to be considered include actual audit costs (both internal and external), cost of development, cost of implementation, cost of maintaining the HACCP system, cost of business/customer loss if not undertaken and also cost of training staff in HACCP.

The development of a HACCP based system, in conjunction with a thorough and rigorous certification, can indeed be beneficial to the success and viability of a food business.

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13 thoughts on “What is HACCP Certification?”

  1. Jessica M Arsenault

    Do company’s in the state of Maine have to be HACCP certified if they are dealing with live product only?

    1. Amanda Evans-Lara

      Hi Jessica, it is best to refer to your local health authority for your business. 3rd party HACCP certification is not generally a legal requirement but more so a customer or trading requirement. Some areas, however, do require HACCP plans to be developed and implemented as part of their food laws.

  2. I am applying for a job that would like me to be HACCP certified as an individual. How do I go about this?

  3. We are software developers and have a temperature sensor and food probe for coolers, frigs, grills, etc. Out of many clients, two have asked if our sensor/probe is HACCP compliant/certified. I understand a food system get certification after an audit. How does a piece of equipment get certified complaint?

    1. Amanda Evans-Lara

      Equipment is not generally HACCP certified as there are no real standards for audit that I am aware of. You would be better off getting the company certified for say ISO 9001 which verifies that your business considers and implement quality management principles and practices.

  4. Pingback: Understanding Certifications for Your Ingredient Supplier: HACCP - Seawind Foods

  5. What is the rate or fee per day to conduct a HACCP Audit?
    What is to be considered if you are traveling to do the audit?
    Your articles has been very informative to me. Thanks much

    1. Hi Debita

      The audit day rate will depend on the actual certification body who is undertaking the audit and I have seen anything from $400US up to $3000.00. The standard that you are being audited against will also affect the cost. A basic HACCP audit will be less expensive than say and audit against a GFSI recognized standard. The best thing to do is get a quote directly from certification bodies in your area.

      Regards….Amanda

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