Food safety programs HACCP
Food safety programs are designed to help businesses identify and manage hazards to food safety.
Most licensed businesses must develop and implement a documented food safety program (FSP).
To find out if you need a food safety program for your business visit the industry sectors.
Food safety programs are based on Codex Alimentarius Commission’s HACCP system and guidelines, or Standard 3.2.1 of the Food Standards Code.
HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point.
Food safety programs:
- identify potential hazards that may occur in all food handling operations carried out in the business
- identify where these hazards can be controlled
- monitor these control methods
- provide corrective actions when a hazard is found to be not under control
- establish, document and verify detailed pre-requisite programs
- be regularly reviewed for adequacy (at least every 12 months).
Food businesses should keep a record and retain copies of action taken demonstrating compliance with the food safety program and ensure it is audited by a food safety auditor.
You should have a written copy and the appropriate records available to the food safety auditor when requested.
You should also retain all written reports of all food safety audit results for the previous 4 years so they can be inspected by a food safety auditor or authorised officer when requested.
Food safety program templates available
The NSW Food Authority has developed specific food safety program templates, available on each industry sector page for:
- some egg businesses, ie. egg producers (not required for small egg farms), egg graders, egg processors
- some meat businesses, ie. retail meat businesses (butcheries), wild game meat harvesters (can also be used by wild game meat field depots and game meat processing plants)
- plant products preparation & storage
- seafood processors
- shellfish cultivators and harvestors
- small diary processors
- vulnerable persons facilities, which should base their program on the specific guidelines for VP food safety programs.
Licensed businesses that do not wish to use the specific template may opt to use the general one below.
Businesses that should start with the general template on this page include:
- dairy sectors that need a food safety program, ie. primary producers; processors and dairy collection & transport
- some meat businesses such as meat & poultry processors, red meat abattoirs, poultry and non-red meat abattoirs
Other food businesses do not need a documented food safety plan but may choose to develop and implement one.
As well, licensed businesses may choose to use the general template.
The Food Authority offers 2 general resources:
- Guide to develop a food safety program (pdf 226KB)
- Template for a food safety program (WordTM 56KB)
Customise the template
Food businesses are responsible for customising the template to reflect the:
- management practices
- any relevant regulations
appropriate to them, whichever template is used.
HACCP is an internationally recognised system used to identify and manage risk. The principles of HACCP are:
- hazard analysis
- identifying critical control points
- establishing critical limits
- taking corrective action
- keeping records
- verifying results.
These principles are used in food safety programs.
The Food Authority is not able to:
- provide HACCP certification
- offer information about private sector HACCP certification or costs
- endorse any HACCP-accredited business or provider
- customise a food safety program or template for an individual business
- provide contacts for organisations that run HACCP accreditation schemes.
The Food Authority can however issue a Food Safety Certificate to a licensed business that meets specific requirements.