The UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) last week unveiled MyHACCP, an online tool designed to guide UK food and beverage companies — especially small businesses — through the process of developing a food safety management system based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles, as required by EU Food Hygiene rules.

The MyHACCP website's introductory text explains that the tool will be able to produce a food safety management system that shows how a business can identify and control any hazards that may occur in the food it manufactures. The Help section (see example, above left) provides a range of resources to assist manufacturers in completing the tool and in understanding implementation of HACCP principles more generally.

The website also points out: "MyHACCP is aimed at small food manufacturing businesses in the UK, although businesses in other food sectors may find it useful. This is likely to include businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Access to the tool is not available to food businesses outside the UK."

A press release addressed to the UK food industry offered further detail: "MyHACCP provides you with a suite of downloadable template documents to support your controls, including monitoring record sheets, to help you embed your HACCP study and bring it to life... If you need to review or change your study to accommodate new products or a change in processing method, simply log back into MyHACCP, call up your stored HACCP study, amend it and print the new version."

In addition to the MyHACCP website, the FSA issued a guidance document, "Guidance for authorised officers on MyHACCP tool" (176KB pdf), which contains a more detailed explanation of the reasons behind the tool's development and advice on how to use the tool effectively.