Business Management Systems

How to organise your HACCP Manual

In this episode we discuss how to document your HACCP food safety manual, meeting customer expectations, how a major food franchise is tracing their raw materials along with a food recall wrap up and crisis planning for the unexpected.



Hi, I am Amanda Evans and welcome to this week’s HACCP Mentor Review. In this episode we discuss how to document your HACCP food safety manual, meeting customer expectations, how a major food franchise is tracing their raw materials along with a food recall wrap up and crisis planning for the unexpected.

Food Safety HACCP Manual Structure  haccp-mentor-organise-HACCP-manual

What is the best way to structure your food safety, quality and HACCP manual? What I have found is that a lot of food businesses write and organise their manuals to the structure or layout of the audit criteria. For example, if your certification is against say SQF, the SQF numbering system is used. If the BRC standard is your standard, the BRC numbering system is used. This works well when you only have a single standard to worry about. However, the majority of food businesses will have multiple standards to comply with including legislation relevant to your county of operation.

I recommend a manual that is set out in logical order. This would mean that anything to do with allergens would be in the allergen section, anything to do with pest control would be in the pest control section, anything to do with approved suppliers would be in the approved supplier section, anything to do with HACCP would be in the HACCP section and so on. A guidance navigation document relevant to your audit standard can then be developed to map against your manual. If you want to know more about how this process works, register your interest for our online training on this topic at

Weights and Measures

The majority of GFSI and customer standards contain some type of requirement around the weight or measure of the finished product. An interesting story this week highlights the need for food companies to be diligent in this area. A facebook campaign bought to our attention the issue around short measures and the customers expectation. Subway was in spotlight after their “foot long” subs were photographed along-side a tape measure. The photographs demonstrated that the sandwich was only 11 inches in length. Subway have claimed that the use of the word ‘foot-long’ is a descriptive name only – not an indication of product size. Unfortunately for Subway, consumer trade practices legislation may state otherwise.

Action Item of the week

Our action item this week is to go and check that your food recall contact details are current. This includes names, telephone, fax and email contacts for both internal representatives and external contacts such as government, major customers and media representatives.

Food Recall Wrap Up

Recalls in the past week have included:

  • Tomato sauce recalled for can defects
  • Fried Chicken breasts containing pieces of metal
  • Salmonella in ground beef products
  • Frozen pizzas with metal contamination
  • Listeria in chicken salad sandwiches and also Alaskan Salmon
  • Undeclared allergens in dumplings, chocolate, chicken noodle soup mix, pie crusts to name just a few.

For a full list of food recalls from around the world check out

Food Broker Traceability

If you buy or purchase your raw materials through a food broker, do you actually know the true origin of those ingredients? This knowledge is critical when undertaking a traceability of your raw materials. In some situations I have seen 3 to 4 layers in the trace-back process. Keep in mind, that every layer is an additional point where there can be a break in the cold chain when looking at potentially hazardous foods.

In support of ingredient traceability, McDonalds Australia have launched a mobile phone app this week to show their consumers full traceability of all the ingredients that go in to make their hamburgers. Would your food businesses be able to do the same?

Transportation Contingency Planning

A food business in Norway got to experience a real life crisis this week after one of their trucks carrying 27 tons of goats cheese caught fire in a tunnel. It took around five (5) days to put the fire out with the tunnel now to be closed for several weeks whilst repairs are made. I would hate to think of the lost production time this food business had to endure whilst this crisis was going on. I also wonder if the hazard of ‘ignition’ had been considered in their HACCP risk assessment during the transportation step.

Share this video

Don’t forget to register your interest in how to structure your food safety manual at Also, if you have any questions or comments on this week’s review, leave a comment below this video.

Until next time I am Amanda Evans from and thanks for watching.

2 thoughts on “How to organise your HACCP Manual”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get free HACCP advice and updates

Find out how to better implement and manage your HACCP, legal and food safety compliance requirements by joining the HACCP Mentor newsletter.

Scroll to Top