Efficient documentation and record keeping is essential in the application of a HACCP system2. Supporting documentation confirms what information and data was used to establish the scientific and technical basis for the HACCP plan, and records support verification activities. Accurate documentation and records can also assist in a due diligence defence by demonstrating the principles of HACCP have been correctly applied2.
Documents and records should be appropriate to the nature and size of the operation, sufficient to verify controls in place are effective and retained for an appropriate period2. Documentation relating to HACCP procedures must also be up to date to reflect any changes in the system.
Examples of documentation within the HACCP plan include:
- HACCP team composition and responsibilites2
- A list of supporting prerequisite programmes
- Product description and intended use
- Process flow diagam (s)
- List of hazards and details of hazard analysis1
- CCP and critical limit determination
- Details of supporting scientific and technical information
- Details of verification and review activities1
Examples of records generated by the HACCP system include:
- CCP monitoring activities
- Corrective actions associated with a deviation at a critical limit
- Validation, verification and review activities
- HACCP team meetings
- Modifications to the HACCP plan2
A system must be in place for the efficient management of documentation and records. Procedures may include methods in how documents are managed such as identification, authorisation, amendments and version control2. Records generated by the HACCP system must be accurate, legible, dated and where appropriate written in pen and signed. Any alterations to records should be authorised, justified and initialled.
Procedures within management system must also clearly define how long documentation and records are to be retained and should consider the following factors.
- shelf-life of the product
- Legal, customer or certification scheme requirements
- shelf-life extension due to freezing by the customer or consumer (only if specified on the label)
The minimum defined period is post shelf-life of the product plus 1 year. Documents and records in electronic form should be stored securely and back-up to prevent loss.
Would you like to learn more?
We regularly run online courses delivered in a live virtual classroom. All our courses in Food Safety and HACCP discuss how to effectively manage document and records within a food safety management system based on the principles of HACCP.