Food safety management

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)

What is HACCP?

HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. It is a approach to managing food safety in food production that requires the operator to identify steps that are critical to ensuring food safety and ensure adequate safety procedures are identified, implemented, maintained and reviewed.


It is a requirement for food businesses to document and implement a food safety management procedure(s) that are based on HACCP principles.

Is it a legal requirement?

Yes. You will also need to ensure that it is documented and supported by records where appropriate. However, the extent of that documentation will depend upon the size of your business and nature of activities carried out.

How do I do it?

You must apply the principles to your own business. This will involve looking at your operation step by step, from selection of suppliers through to service of food to the customer to ensure that adequate safety procedures exist.

There will be some steps at which hazards exist and steps at which they can be controlled. Many controls will be simple common sense practices, such as keeping food chilled or keeping raw and ready-to-eat foods separate. Once controls are in place they may need to be monitored and the procedures reviewed periodically. Read more about the HACCP steps(pdf, 28KB).

What are my options?

There are various options available to you depending upon what is appropriate for your business. The use of part-prepared systems like Safer Food Better Business are popular with caterers like caf├ęs and restaurants but would not be appropriate for all food businesses. Alternatives include the use of environmental health consultants (large operations) or preparing your own procedures (small operations). Feel free to contact us to discuss what approach will be suitable for you and your business.

Where can I learn more?

There are several food hygiene/safety courses available to operators or managers where they can learn more about food safety management. Details of Food Safety trainers in your area can be obtained from one of the following search facilities:

You can also contact us for advice and help or visit the Food Standards Agency website at

Contact Commercial Environmental Health

If you have any questions or would like any advice, please contact us:

Consumer Protection

2nd Floor
Civic Centre
44 York Street

Telephone: 020 8891 7117
Fax: 020 8891 7713

We are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Updated: 14 May 2018