HACCP VS Food Safety Plan; Now chew on This.

In our industry, as most of you know, a HACCP plan is required when it comes to passing your audit with a decent score. So what is all of this talk about a Food Safety Plan? I have broken this down for you guys in bullet point form, but if there is still confusion, we will be discussing this in detail on August 17th in our free learning lunch. The link is below.

Ok, so let’s start with HACCP- pronounced HaaSip. This is short for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. So very simplistically, a HACCP plan is going to show where the hazards are in your facility and point out where it is critical. For instance, a critical control point would be at an x-ray machine or sieve. It is critical because if the food passed through this with a galvanized bolt in it and the x-ray machine is broken, this could cause a huge issue if someone bites into it and breaks a tooth.  So we create a critical control point for this area and prove that you check your machine every 30 minutes with documentation to show that this is not going to be an issue.

So what is a Food Safety Plan then? Well it is like a HACCP plan, but tailored for your industry. I have included this chart below straight from the FDA website that just shows the direct differences. By the way, CCPs stands for Critical Control Points.

Hazard Analysis

HACCP Plan: Biological, Chemical, Physical hazards

Food Safety Plan: Chemical hazards include radio-logical hazards, consideration of economically motivated adulteration

Preventive Controls

HACCP Plan: CCPs for Processes.

Food Safety Plan: Process CCPs plus controls at the other points that are not CCPs

Parameters and Values

HACCP Plan: Critical limits at CCPs.

Food Safety Plan: Parameters and min. /max. values (equivalent to critical limits for process controls)


HACCP Plan: Required for CCPs.

Food Safety Plan: Required as appropriate for preventive controls.

Corrective Actions and Corrections

HACCP Plan: Corrective Actions.

Food Safety Plan: Corrective actions or corrections as appropriate.

Verification (including Validation)

HACCP Plan: For Process Controls.

Food Safety Plan: Verification as appropriate for all preventive controls;validation for process controls; supplier verification required when supplier controls a hazard.


HACCP Plan: For Process Controls.

Food Safety Plan: As appropriate for all preventive controls.

Recall Plan

HACCP Plan: Not Required in the Plan.

Food Safety Plan: Required when a hazard requiring a preventive control is identified.

We are going to go into all of this in great depth on August 17th. Register and we’ll be able to talk more about it then, in plain English.


Shannon Nute, MBA

Director of Communications

ASI Food Safety

800-477-0778 (24×7)

www.ASIFood.com (instant chat)

Validation Vs. Verification; What the Heck is the Difference!?

This is one of the biggest confusions in our industry.  People ask all the time how to figure out the difference between validation and verification in their food plant.  I have broken it down for you so that we can, hopefully, all get on the same page about this topic.

Validation-“Is what we are going to do, going to work?” So in other words, we know from several sources that cooking chicken to the temperature of 165 degrees internally, will kill harmful bacteria that could potentially make people very ill.  We have credible documentation that can prove this.  So at that point, you can say your validation step is  you are going to cook your ready to eat chicken to 165 degrees prior to packaging for public sale.

Verification is seeing if we are actually doing the things that we say we are going to do. So this would mean that we have already validated that 165 is a perfect temperature to kill bacteria and we have stated that that is what we are going to do with our chicken; cook it to 165 degrees. Now we have to test the temperature of the food when it reaches this temperature regularly and document this.  This documentation is the proof of verification.

To confuse the topic even further, the thermometer that you use in the verification process, has to be calibrated regularly for accuracy and you will need to document this as well, proving that you are doing this.

So to sum it all up, validation is saying you are going to do something that is proven to work and verification is testing to show what you said you were going to do, you are now doing.  And of course, don’t forget to calibrate. Check your thermometer, or whatever device you are using to do your verification and then write this all down in one place!

Call us if you are still thoroughly confused.

-Shannon Nute, MBA

ASI Food Safety



1 Side of Salmonella With Your Salad

We have all been there, first the room gets hot, we start to sweat and then the nausea, but I guess it’s better then the other end. . .  Must be food poisoning.

I was reading in the New York Times as they were discussing this topic just because it is a hot one, quite literally, right now.  The interesting thing that I found was when they were discussing the topic with a gastroenterologist. “People tend to blame the last thing they ate, but it’s probably the thing before the last thing they ate,” said Dr. Deborah Fisher, associate professor at Duke University School of Medicine.

Our digestive systems take about 18 hours to digest something so when the symptoms are triggered by food, it was probably that potato salad that you ate at the lunch 8 hours ago that is just entering the nature of food.

Something else that we preach all of the time is being conscience of hygiene. Sure you can wash your hands, but what about that cell phone that you just put down on the counter at the checkout line and then took that call 2 minutes later.  Or how about when you walked down the stairs to drop your kids off at daycare and held the rail on the way down.  Mmmmm sounds like a good mix of bacteria soup.

The one thing that companies fear is killing someone, but chances are, people are just going to have a rough 3 or 4 days and then be back to normal.  It’s the young, pregnant, sick and elderly people that we need to worry about.

The most interesting that I read in the article was that it may not be food poisoning at all. Here’s the scenario, which I am sure that I am guilty of.  Fodmaps. These are essentially carbohydrates that, eaten in excess, are not well absorbed in the small intestine and then make their way into your colon to cause all kinds of trouble. They include myriad things we’re encouraged to eat including broccoli, brussels sprouts, radicchio, asparagus, avocados, mushrooms, peaches, whole grains and legumes. Did I mention over eating?

Lastly, we have our nerves and stress.  This also has nothing to do with germs at all, but food poisening is most likely to blame. “The human brain and nervous system is very intimately mixed with another nervous system that is present in the walls of the intestine,” said Dr. Santhi Swaroop Vege, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic. “These nerve fibers, nerves and plexuses are located continuously in the wall of intestine from the esophagus to rectum.”

This is your biology course for the day.


ASI Food Safety