Every year 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and over half of all reported foodborne illnesses are attributed to foodservice.
In addition to the human cost (sickness, medical costs, lost work), a foodborne-illness outbreak at your restaurant can cost thousands of dollars and sometimes the loss of your business. It can cause negative media exposure, damage your reputation, decrease sales, affect staff morale, create lawsuits, and increase your restaurant insurance premiums.
Every food product that you serve has gone through several levels of the supply chain, and there are hazards at every level that can cause sickness or injury. Fortunately, these hazards can be reduced, prevented, and even eliminated.
Managing Food Safety via the HACCP System
Smart restaurant owners do what they can to reduce foodborne hazards, and there are many food safety management plans available. The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system is one of the most widely used system, and it is endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences, National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria for Foods and the Codex Alimentarius as the best process control system available today. The FDA says, “HACCP is designed for use in all segments of the food industry from growing, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, distributing, and merchandising to preparing food for consumption.”
The History of HACCP and Food Safety
HACCP was introduced in the 1960s to produce the safest and highest quality food possible for astronauts in the space program. The HACCP Alliance defines the HACCP system as “a process control system that identifies where hazards might occur in the food production process and puts into place stringent actions to prevent the hazards from occurring. By strictly monitoring and controlling each step of the process, there is less chance for hazards to occur.”
A Proactive Approach to Food Safety
One of the advantages of HACCP is that it prevents food safety hazards rather than reacting to food safety hazards; it prioritizes and controls potential hazards. And it can be customized to your restaurant’s menu, customers, equipment, processes, and operations.
Compliance May not be Mandatory, but it's Really Smart!
Most restaurants are not required to have an HACCP plan, but it is one of the best systems available to ensure the safety of the food within your restaurant, and, as a big bonus, it is likely to help reduce your restaurant insurance premiums by lowering the number of insurance claims submitted.
Seven Principles of HACCP
HACCP is based on seven principles, according to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological criteria for foods. Here they are:
Principle 1: Conduct a Hazard Analysis
Identify food safety hazards - any biological, chemical, or physical property that may cause a food to be unsafe for human consumption - and take preventative measures to control these hazards.
Principle 2: Determine Critical Control Points
A critical control point (CCP) is a point, step, or procedure in the manufacturing or preparation of food where a control can be applied to prevent, reduce, or eliminate a food safety hazard.
Principle 3: Establish Critical Limits
A critical limit is a maximum/minimum level to which a biological, chemical, or physical factor must be raised/reduced to in order to prevent, reduce, or eliminate a food safety hazard
Principle 4: Establish Monitoring Procedures
Monitoring is 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.
Principle 5: Establish Corrective Actions
Ideal circumstances do not always prevail and deviations from established processes may occur requiring corrective actions.
Principle 6: Verify That the System Works
Once an HACCP is in place, make sure the system is operating according to plan and delivering the desired results.
Principle 7: Keep Accurate Records and Documentation
Restaurant owners should maintain the following records: a summary of the hazard analysis - including the rationale for determining hazards and control measures - and the HACCP Plan - including a brief summary of the position responsible for performing the activity and the procedures and frequency.
Contact Us for Better Restaurant Insurance at a Better Price!
An HACCP plan is one of the best ways to ensure the safety of the food that you serve and to protect your customers, your employees, and your bottom line.
The right restaurant insurance is a safety net that protects you in the event that all of your precautions aren’t enough.
The experienced agents at American Insuring Group specialize in Restaurant Insurance, and best of all, they're independent. That means we are free to shop the market to get a plan that matches your needs with a great price!
So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online to see how we can help you save on your bar, nightclub, food truck, or any other type of restaurant insurance.