HACCP plan

Is HACCP a voluntary process?

Overall, the HACCP process is not mandatory for most food businesses. However, you need to bear in mind that it does ...

Overall, the HACCP process is not mandatory for most food businesses. However, you need to bear in mind that it does incorporate some mandatory requirements such as food temperature. Although it may not be a mandatory requirement for your business, following the HACCP process is always recommended. Not only does it help to keep your customers safe, but building a brand image of a company that cares and reducing the risk to your customer's health can help you to build your business and increase your customer base.

In order to check whether or not your food business must follow the HACCP process, or must have HACCP certification, you should contact your local food regulatory authority, as depending on your industry type and location, you could have specific requirements to adhere to.

Is the HACCP process mandatory for specific industry types?

This is extremely important to understand. Although HACCP is an internationally recognized system for preventing safety hazards in your food business and helping to keep your customers safe, whether or not having HACCP certification for your specific industry is mandatory depends on your location. 

For example, if your company is based in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) require mandatory HACCP programs for both juice and meat food businesses. In the United Kingdom, however, any food business is required to have a HACCP plan.

Wherever you are based, you should always consult your local regulatory authority in order to confirm whether you are required by law to implement a HACCP process. 

is haccp process voluntary

Why should I follow the HACCP process?

Whether or not following the HACCP process, or getting HACCP certification is mandatory for your business, it is always advisable for you to create a plan that ensures your business follows the 7 principles of HACCP. Here are some of the reasons you should implement a HACCP process:


  • Customer health - The main reason you should ensure your business follows the HACCP process is to protect the health of your customers. By minimizing the risk of spreading foodborne illnesses, you are actively helping to protect your customers.
  • Brand strength - Following on from the above point, by implementing a HACCP process and helping to protect your customers, you can help to build a positive brand image for your business. By showing your customers that you care, they are more likely to trust your business and come back!
  • Avoid fines - Without a HACCP process in place, it can be easy for your team to miss important tasks, or not to have sufficient training to ensure the workplace is safe from hazards. By implementing a HACCP process, you are less likely to end up in a situation where you are given fines as a result of a foodborne illness outbreak, or for unsafe practices.

Overall, by implementing a HACCP process you are protecting your customer’s health, and not only can you save money, but you can build your brand strength leading to even more money coming in. 

How can FoodDocs help?

FoodDocs is a great digital solution that can help you the whole way through the HACCP process, speeding up your HACCP plan creation using the intelligent HACCP plan builder, and removing manual work involved when creating and following your plan.

With notifications, FoodDocs keeps you on top of all of your necessary food safety tasks, as well as allowing you to plan your team management to make sure all of your staff are up to date with all of their food safety training. You can also use FoodDocs to create digital audits, making sure that your food business is always compliant with your HACCP plan.


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