Glossary of HACCP and Food Safety Terms

HACCP Principles as defined by the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF)

  1. Conduct a hazard analysis.
  2. Determine the critical control points (CCP's).
  3. Establish critical limits.
  4. Establish monitoring procedures.
  5. Establish corrective actions.
  6. Establish verification procedures.
  7. Establish record-keeping and documentation procedures.

HACCP terms as defined by the (NACMCF)

CCP Decision Tree: A sequence of questions to assist in determining whether a control point is a CCP.

Control: (a) To manage the conditions of an operation to maintain compliance with established criteria. (b) The state in which correct procedures are being followed and criteria are being met.

Control Point: Any step at which biological, chemical, or physical factors can be controlled.

Corrective Action: Procedures followed when a deviation occurs.

Criterion: A requirement on which a judgment or decision can be based.

Critical Control Point: A step at which control can be applied and is essential to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or to reduce it to an acceptable level.

Critical Limit: A maximum and/or minimum value to which a biological, chemical, or physical parameter must be controlled at a CCP to prevent, eliminate, or reduce to an acceptable level the occurrence of a food safety hazard.

Deviation: Failure to meet a critical limit.

HACCP: A systematic approach to the identification, evaluation, and control of a food safety hazard.

HACCP Plan: The written document that is based on the principles that is based on the principles of HACCP and that delineates the procedures to be followed.

HACCP System: The result of the implementation of the HACCP plan.

HACCP Team:The group of people who are responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining the HACCP system.

Hazard:A biological, chemical, or physical agent that is reasonably likely to cause illness or injury in the absence of its control.

Hazard Analysis: The process of collecting and evaluating information on hazards associated with the food under consideration to decide which are significant and must be addressed in the HACCP plan.

Monitor: To conduct a planned sequence of observations or measurements to assess whether a CCP is under control and to produce an accurate record for future use in verification.

Prerequisite Programs: Procedures, including Good Manufacturing Practices that address operational conditions providing the foundation for the HACCP system.

Severity: The seriousness of the effect(s) of a hazard.

Step: A point, procedure, operation, or stage in the food system from primary production to final consumption.

Validation: That element of verification focused on collecting and evaluating scientific and technical information to determine whether the HACCP plan, when properly implemented, will effectively control the hazards.

Verification: Those activities, other than monitoring, that determine the validity of the HACCP plan and that the system is operating according to the plan.

Terms related to microbiology. (Prescott, L.M., J.P. Harley, and D.A. Klein. Microbiology. WCB McGraw-Hill, Boston)

Water Activity (aw): A quantitative measure of water availability in the habitat; the water activity of a solution is one-hundredth its relative humidity.

pH: pH is the measure of the hydrogen ion activity of a solution and is defined as the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration.
pH= -log [H +] = log(1/ [H +]) The pH scale extends from pH 0.0 (1.0M H +) to pH 14 (1.0*10 -14 M H +), and each pH unit represents a 10 fold increase in hydrogen ion concentration.

H +: The symbol denoting a hydrogen ion.

Spore: A differentiated, specialized form that can be used for dissemination, for survival of adverse conditions because of its heat and desiccation resistance, and/or for reproduction. Spores are usually unicellular and may develop into vegetative organisms or gametes. They may be produced asexually or sexually and are of many types.

Toxin: A microbial product or component that can injure anther cell or organism at low concentrations. Often the term refers to a poisonous protein, but toxins may be lipid or other substances.

Oxidation-reduction (redox) potential: Reactions involving electron transfers; the reductant donates electrons to an oxidant.

Pathogen: A disease causing organism.

Parts per million (ppm): The number of parts of a substance in 1,000,000,000 parts of another substance. (1 ppm = 1 inch in 16 miles)