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HACCP in meat plants

HACCP in meat plants.

HACCP is an internationally recognised way of managing food safety and protecting consumers. All food business operators except farmers and growers are required by EU food hygiene legislation, to implement and maintain hygiene procedures based on HACCP principles.

EU Regulation requires food business operators, including meat plant operators to implement and maintain hygiene procedures based on HACCP principles. This legislation replaced the Meat (HACCP) Regulations 2002.


The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system is internationally accepted as the system of choice for food safety management. It is a preventative approach to food safety based on the following seven principles:

  • identify any hazards that must be prevented eliminated or reduced
  • identify the critical control points (CCPs) at the steps at which control is essential
  • establish critical limits at CCPs
  • establish procedures to monitor the CCPs
  • establish corrective actions to be taken if a CCP is not under control
  • establish procedures to verify whether the above procedures are working effectively
  • establish documents and records to demonstrate the effective application of the above measures
  • approach provides a systematic way of identifying food safety hazards and making sure that they are being controlled day-in, day-out

This involves the following four steps: Plan, Do, Check. These steps are described in more detail below.

1. PLAN:

Plan what needs to be done to maintain food safety and write it down.

It is particularly important to:

  • minimise the likelihood of food poisoning bacteria contaminating meat and associated products
  • avoid physical and chemical contamination of meat
  • reduce the potential for growth of food poisoning bacteria on meat and associated products
  • minimise the potential for cross contamination of ready-to-eat foods by food poisoning bacteria on meat during further processing or in the kitchen
  • hazards microbiological, chemical, physical controls good hygiene practices maintenance, cleaning, pest control, training, personal hygiene, traceability, waste management, wrapping & packaging, transport
  • operational hygiene controls raw materials, animal welfare & transport, slaughter, dressing, storage, cutting, processing
  • documentation, HACCP plans, staff instructions, monitoring and corrective action procedures, daily records

2. DO:

Do what you planned to do to maintain food safety.


  • check that you are doing what you planned to do to maintain food safety and write down what was checked and when
  • supervision
  • monitoring
  • verification incl. micro testing
  • review documentation

4. ACT:

  • act to correct any food safety problems and write down what has been done about the problem and when
  • corrective actions