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    Friday, 2 December 2016

    HACCP - Record Keeping


    Finally in our HACCP how-to series, having covered the last stage of creating and maintaining your HACCP plan, verification and validation, we will take a quick last look at your record-keeping procedures over the whole process, to make sure that everything has been properly documented.

    Accurate record-keeping is absolutely essential part of keeping your HACCP plan running smoothly. Records detail whether critical limits were adhered to, or if corrective action was taken if critical limits were broken. Similarly, records form an indispensable part of monitoring procedures, allowing adjustments to be made to prevent a loss of process control.

    There are four main types of record-keeping under your HACCP plan:
    • The HACCP plan itself and supporting documentation used when developing it.
    • Records of CCP monitoring.
    • Records of corrective actions.
    • Records of verification activities.


    Let’s take a closer look at what you should be recording for each one.


    HAACP Plan and Supporting Documentation

    HACCP support documents should include all of the information and data that you used when putting together your plan. This incorporates your hazard analysis sheet, records of information used when performing it, and when setting your critical limits.

    Support document data may detail a range of your decision-making, such as how you plan to stop pathogen growth, choose a safe shelf life, or determine the correct heating level to destroy bacteria.

    On top of this data, support documentation should also include any correspondence with experts or consultants. It should detail the HACCP team, their individual responsibilities, and any prerequisite or preliminary steps taken before the HACCP plan was devised.


    CCP Monitoring Records

    HACCP monitoring records are mainly kept to display control at CCPs. They can show when critical limits have been violated, and reviewing records at correct frequencies can ensure that control measures are functioning correctly and according to the HACCP plan. Monitoring records also allow a company to demonstrate to regulators that this is the case, allowing compliance with food authority safety standards.

    Tracking the values of monitoring records allows you to know when critical limits are near, but also to observe trends that may allow you to improve your process or HACCP plan. If good monitoring records are kept and quick adjustments made, processors can avoid the heavy cost associated with corrective action, or worse, recalls.

    Monitoring records should include, for example:
    • Form Title
    • Firm Name & Location
    • Time and Date
    • Product ID
    • Observation or Measurement
    • Critical Limits
    • Operator’s Signature
    • Reviewer’s Signature
    • Date of Review


    Corrective Action Records

    Corrective actions describe any actions taken to bring the process back under control after critical limits are breached. Any time a critical limit deviation occurs and corrective actions take place, it should be recorded. Corrective action records should include:
    • Product Identification
    • Description of Deviation
    • Corrective Action Taken
    • Disposition of Final Product
    • Individual Responsible for Corrective Action
    • Results of Evaluation


    It could even be possible to combine these records with your monitoring records, depending on the nature of your process. Just make sure that both are detailed enough to demonstrate full compliance and responsible actions.


    Verification Records

    Verification is an important continuous part of your HACCP plan, and thus so are the records it generates. These records should include:
    • Modifications to the HACCP plan (e.g. changes in ingredients, processing)
    • Processor audit records of supplier compliance guarantees
    • Verification of monitoring equipment accuracy and calibration
    • Results of any targeted sampling or biological, chemical, or physical tests
    • Results of inspections
    • Results of equipment evaluations


    All of these records should be carefully reviewed by a member of staff in a supervisory role, both to ensure they are being maintained correctly, and that any potential problems and pitfalls flagged by records are quickly prevented or dealt with. In this manner, your HACCP plan is allowed to work efficiently whilst continuing to grow and adapt, safeguarding the integrity of your process, your economic status, and ultimately the consumer’s health.


    Sam Franklin

    With a master’s in Literature, Sam inhales books and anything readable, spending his working hours reformulating the info he gathers into digestible articles. When not reading or writing, he likes to put his camera to work around the world, snapping street photography from Stockholm to Tokyo. Too much of this time spent in Japan teaching English has nurtured a weakness for sashimi, Japanese whisky, and robot cafés.
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    Item Reviewed: HACCP - Record Keeping Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Food Safety Co
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