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    HACCP in Micro/Small companies

    Versão Portuguesa
    HACCP in Micro/Small Companies

    What the law says…

    Must be guaranteed a high level of protection of the human life and health 

    All the food industry operators are responsable for ensuring that all the food given to final consumers are safe. For that they must create, apply  and maintain food safety procedures based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Point (HACCP) (cf. article 5 from the Regulation nº852/2004 of April 29), having as reference the Codex Alimentarius

    Is there any flexibility?

    Implementation requirements of HACCP must have the enough flexibility to be apllied in all the circumstances, including micro and small companies .The flexibility of the application of the HACCP system will apply to the food  operators that after identifying the hazard associated to each step of the process and attempt to identify all the critical points, consider not possible to determine these points. However with the implementation of the preventive measures (good hygiene practices) its possible to assure food safety .

    Ease of application of the HACCP principles

    One can think that the application of the HACCP principles  is very complicated, but need not be.The most important thing is to guarantee, regardless of the methodology applied, that the safety procedures are tailored to each establishment  considering the activity developed.

    According to the principles of the Codex Alimentarius, the implementation of HACCP principles is made following the production flow of food, identifying all hazards in each step, determination of critical control points (CCP) to eliminate/reduce the risk and the implemented procedures for the monitoring ( critical limits, surveillance, corrective measures) demonstrated by records and documents.

    The Food Standards Agency (FSA), counterpart of ASAE, created a methodology for the application of the HACCP principles for micro and small companies, based on the principle – “Safer Food, Better business” (1)

    In this methodology, the implementation of the HACCP principles is made by the practices that prevent/remove biological hazards, chemical and physical contamination. It was considered has control areas the following : Cross-contamination, Cleaning, Chilling, Cooking - 4C´s).

    It was not necessary the use of technical terminology, although the process is rigorous the operators themselves construct their own food safety procedures, through responses to operational issues as: Steps/ Points to Check/ Why? / How / When to/ What to do in case of failure? How to avoid that happening again?,These procedures are based on Cross-contamination, Cleaning, Chilling, Cooking supporting the evidence for effective enforcement through the preparation of records, suitable for the nature and company size.

    Considering that the operators must know well the food  they produce and  provide, this methodology permits to the small and micro companies to simplify its procedures ( for example, creation of factsheets of the process/product), with good knowledge of the food  safety rules (Training and instruction of the whole team - it is important for the handlers and management) to hold responsible for the food handlers and the food operators.

    (1) http://www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/caterers/sfbb/sfbbcaterers/


    The 4 C´s may help to prevent some problems connect with food safety  - In the folowing table you can find some methodology application  examples showing the control areas identify in each point a to control
    Step 1
    Control /Points to  control
    (Principles 1 and 2 from the  HACCP system)
    (Preventing measures, Principles 3 and 4 from HACCP system)
    What to do in case of failure?
    (Principle 5 of HACCP system)
    How to prevent new failure ?
    ((Principle 5 of HACCP system)
    (Principle 7)
    Reception of raw material (RRM) If  chilled foods are a lot of  time at room temperature  they present clues of defrost, they may develop dangerous bacterial growth. It could  appear on the packages foreign bodies (stones, soil). Control labelling – durability dates, compulsory indications, special storage conditions, among others.
    See the freshness of food.
    Control food temperature – recording and checking periodically check the transport temperature – Foods that require cold are stored immediately –
    Maintaining the Cold Chain

    Cheking the condition of packages- condition of transport package  and checking product packagie
    – The packaging can not be damaged, swollen  - Cross contamination
    See state of cleanliness in the reception area and transport vehicle - Sanitation
    Making these procedures on receipt of each raw material

    Immediately reject the raw material where there are anomalies in reception.
    Change supplier if there is a significant number of anomalies
    Discard foods that contain anomalies in temperatures
    If a chemical pests, broken glass or other substances come into contact with food, discard immediately


    Training to the employees about this process step
    Conduct a periodic evaluation of suppliers
    Temperature recording in RRM
    Storage at refrigeration Some foods need to be kept cold because there is a danger of bacterial growth

    Ex: indicating food store in the cold ... º C, desserts

    Check if the food is placed in the cold and protected
    -Cross contamination
    Keep the equipment controlled cooling - record temperature
    Maintaining the Cold Chain
    See cleanliness of equipment cool - Sanitization

    Do this procedure at least 2 times per day

    If cool equipment fails its necessary to transfer food for other equipment
    See how long the food has been exposed to uncontrolled temperature – immediately cook the food at  high temperatures or reject the food
    Review the procedure storage

    Maintenance of refrigeration equipment
    Training of employees

    Temperature recording of the cold equipment
    Cooking Bacteria from raw food can contaminate the cooked food
    Some dangerous bacteria can survive
    Continuous use of the same frying oil leads to the development of chemicals harmful to health
    Separate cooked food from raw food – Cross Contamination
     Ensure good cooking - see if there is presence of blood and juices to indicate that the product is still raw, let broths and soups simmer until "bubbling" – Cooking
    Check the temperature and see the degree of oxidation of frying oil (oil test)  see if the oil changed color (dark color, foam is changed) and smells(if  it smells intense that´s because  its changed – Reject it) - Cooking

    Make the implementation of these procedures in the course of duties
    See cleanliness of equipment / utensils - Sanitization

    If the cooked food comes into contact with raw foods its necessary to reheate at elevated temperatures or rejectc if  is not possible rewarming

    Check the position of the thermostat-temperature below 180 º C
    Eliminate the oil if it shows signs of alteration
    If foods are fried in altered oil  reject it

    Rearrange the work plan
    Training to the employees about this process step
    Create verification system
    Recording of reheating food
    Recording of the temperature of the frying oil
    Distribution The cooked food that are not served immediately need to be kept in hot or cold - some dangerous bacteria can grow

    Bacteria from the environment can contaminate food ready to distribute

    Placing food serving hot glasshouse / water bath pre-heated to a temperature of about 90 ° C (confirm with the indication of each device) in order to ensure that food are temperature above 65 ° C - Cross Contamination
    Place the food to serve cold (temperatures between 0-5 ° C) in refrigeration equipment - Maintenance of Cold Chain
    Handling of food with proper utensils - not directly manipulate the food with hands - Cross Contamination / Hygiene
    See the cleanliness of cold equipment and hot water bath /glasshouse Sanitization
    Check  the temperature of the cooling equipment at least 2 times per day when using the hot water bath/glasshouse
    Tuning the hot water bath / glasshouse when the temperature is below 90 º C
    Cover the hot water bath

    Discard foods that have been at room temperature for more than 30 minutes
    Repair the unit in case of failure;
    Put the food in other similar equipment

    Maintenance of refrigeration equipment
    Training to the employees about this process step
    Temperature Recording  of the cool equipamen_to and glasshouse/hot water baths

    December 2015
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