What is a HACCP Plan?

A Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points or HACCP Plan is a systematic approach to the identification, evaluation, and control of food safety hazards (biological, chemical, and physical) throughout the production process to prevent the risk of foodborne illness or other safety concerns. HACCP is based on the following seven key activities:

  • Conduct a hazard analysis
  • Determine critical control points (CCP)
  • Establish critical limits
  • Establish a monitoring system
  • Establish a procedure for corrective action for use when monitoring a CCP indicates a deviation from an established critical limit
  • Establish procedures for verification to confirm the effectiveness of the HACCP Plan
  • Establish documentation concerning all procedures and records appropriate to these activities and their applications

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Which industries require it?

HACCP should be used in conjunction with other food protection programs and is mandatory for meat & poultry (USDA), seafood (FDA), and juice (FDA), and voluntary for all other food and beverage industries. That is, while HACCP is not technically required for the Kombucha industry, KBI highly recommends that all commercial Kombucha brewers have a HACCP Plan in place.

Why does KBI recommend it?

KBI’s newly established Best Practices list having an HACCP Plan in place as an important action item for commercial Kombucha brewers. These Best Practices have been voted into place by KBI’s own member organizations, which represent the majority views of some of the world’s leading Kombucha producers.

Furthermore, products produced by the Kombucha industry are often raw (unpasteurized) and are consumed by people around the world primarily for their health benefits.  Therefore, it is in the best interest of public health to take as many precautionary measures as possible to produce healthful, safe beverages which meet established food safety standards. As this rapidly growing industry continues to expand, we feel that it is important to operate our brewing companies with integrity, safety, and quality in mind, while also keeping in mind the extra layer of protection a HACCP Plan can offer the public.

In addition, when local, state, and/or federal inspections occur, an established HACCP Plan highlights the company’s efforts to produce safe products and demonstrates/documents all of the key elements required.  HACCP Plans also make it much easier to communicate with inspectors who may not be familiar with Kombucha products and/or the Kombucha industry as a whole.

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How do I develop an HACCP Plan?

Developing an HACCP Plan can be very time consuming and rigorous . Fortunately, KBI has developed a hazard analysis template, which is available to brewery members within the HACCP Plan Docs Forum. To view this template and other HACCP related documents, please join the HACCP forum by visiting our Member Forums page and requesting membership.

Not a KBI member yet?

Whether you’re just starting out or already have an established Kombucha company, we invite you to join KBI to take advantage of our many member’s only resources and benefits, including the HACCP Plan template mentioned above. To learn more about our member benefits, to view our membership requirements or to join KBI, please click here.