Validation and Verification

HACCP Validation and HACCP Verification – What is the difference?

What is the difference between HACCP Validation and HACCP Verification? In this episode we tackle what seems to be one of the most confusing terminology in the food industry.

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Welcome to Episode 26 of HACCP Mentor Review. This is a jam packed episode where we tackle what seems to be the most confusing terminology in the food industry along with cleaning equipment identification, who needs to be trained on a food production site and a very a nasty food poisoning outbreak. We also pay tribute to a very special organisation.

How to identify cleaning equipment

The best way to identify cleaning equipment is through a colour-coded system. This allows particular cleaning equipment to be used in a particular area. It helps to prevent any cross contamination if you have high risk and low risk or high care and low risk areas. Dedicated colour coded cleaning equipment is also great when you are trying to prevent any allergen cross contact during cleaning.

Who needs to be trained on our food production site?

The purpose of training is to ensure that all staff have the appropriate skill and knowledge to complete their food handling duties. The level of training required will depend on the Individual food handler duties and the level of food safety, quality and compliance risk the food handler poses to the business. As a minimum, all staff who are employed by the business and all contractors (including maintenance) should have induction training which includes good hygiene practices and food safety. This topic leads very well into this episodes action item.

Action of the Week

This episodes action to check that all contractors have been inducted in food safety. This means that people who do not work on your food production site have had some introductory training in food safety as it relates to your particular business. Contractors can include maintenance, cleaning, pest control and waste removal personnel.

Food Poisoning Outbreak

The food poisoning outbreak in the spotlight this episode comes from India where 23 children were killed after eating a free meal provided by a local school in the state of Bihar. The police investigation has reported detecting high levels of a chemical commonly found in pesticides, in the cooking oil.

Verification and Validation – What is the difference?

A recent comment on the HACCP Mentor website from Constantino asked what the difference is between HACCP verification and HACCP validation and calibration. In a nut shell, I find the easiest way to explain this is by the following:

Validation – is what we do, going to work. Is it going to achieve the outcome that we desire and require? An example of this would be, we say that we are going to cook a food to a particular temperature because we want to make sure that there is no harmful bacteria remain. To validate the temperature chosen, we could refer to legislation, scientific journals or other data that supports the cooking temperature we have selected will kill the harmful bacteria.

Verification is best defined as being the things we do to see if we are actually doing what we say we are going to do. So in the above example, with the temperature to kill the harmful bacteria, we would check or verify that the food was actually reaching that temperature. This would be done through testing the temperature of the food.

Now for calibration – we want to make sure that the equipment that we use in the verification process is reading and operating correctly. We would do this through the process of calibration. So again, for this example, the thermometer that we use to check the temperature would need to be regularly calibrated to make sure that we are always getting the most accurate result.

If I have managed to confuse you even more, try remember it like this:

Validation = science

Verification = checking

Calibration = accuracy

50th Anniversary of Codex

This year Codex Alimentarius (which is latin for “food code”) celebrated its 50th Anniversary. For those who are not aware of what Codex is, now is the time to learn. Codex is a collaboration between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). The primary purpose of Codex is to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade. Codex does this by producing a collection of international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice. If you are looking for direction on food safety and food standards or validation for your pre-requisite programs, check out their very informative website at . I will put the link in the blog notes to this episode.

Wrap Up

Well, that wraps up Episode 26 of HACCP Mentor Review. I hope that you have benefited from the information so please let me know. Until next time, I am Amanda Evans from and I hope you have a great week!


17 thoughts on “HACCP Validation and HACCP Verification – What is the difference?”

  1. How do you validate metal detection? Our BRC auditor raised that challenge testing procedures are verification activities and we need to define metal detector validation.

    1. Amanda Evans-Lara

      Hi Lara, the validation for metal detection would be the capability of the actual machine. This information can be sourced from your metal detector supplier. Remember, validation is all about what we do BEFORE we make the product, so the question is, how do we know the machine will perform as required? A: Based on the specifications provided by the machine manufacturer. eg. this machine will detect x size for x type of metal etc.

  2. In simple words,

    Verification – Was the work done according to
    plan ? (past)
    Validation – Will the plan work ? (future)

    Amanda am I right ?

  3. kapil shrestha

    the discription is so well put in a most concise and precised manner possible.. couldn’t agree more….many thanks

  4. Our clients tell us that insuring the cleaning crew has the RIGHT supplies, chemicals, etc on hand prior to starting the process is key.

  5. Sumit Saxena, India

    Hi Amanda,
    There is question. I am looking for validation of Shelf Life of foods. Lots of standards are available from various groups for the chilled and frozen storage of raw, semi processed and cooked products. Is there a validation available with you?

    1. I reference legislation as a general rule. For shelf life, you would need to do your own testing for target micro, chemical and quality parameters.

  6. Hi Amanda,

    Useful summary above.
    Might reiterate that one basic difference between validation and verfication from the Codex point of view is chronology. Ideally (but sometimes a preliminary “study” is permitted), Va comes before routine implentation of a process .Verifiication comes after. Detail is provided in the classic Codex (validation) document of 2008.

  7. Gayan Hettiarachchi

    Thanks for the reply.

    Could you also please explain the difference between verification and monitoring?


  8. Gayan Hettiarachchi

    Thanks for the explanation on validation, verification and calibration.

    With the same example if microbial testing of heat treated food sample was done to see absence of pathogenic bacteria is it validation or verification?


    1. If it was challenge study it was validation i.e. if the sample was spiked with the target pathogen it was validation. If it was routine testing it was verification.

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