SNP Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)

HACCP-based Food Safety Plan

Purchasing, Receiving and Storing of Foods

USDA Food Recall Guidance

Section 111 of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-265) amended section 9(h) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act by requiring school food authorities (SFAs) to implement a food safety program for the preparation and service of school meals served to children. The program must be based on HACCP principles and conform to guidance issued by the Department of Agriculture (USDA). All SFAs must have a fully implemented food safety program that complies with HACCP principles.

The SFA’s overall food safety program must include a written plan for each individual school in the SFA and be based on HACCP principles. HACCP is a systematic approach to construct a food safety program designed to reduce the risk of foodborne hazards by focusing on each step of the food preparation process-- from receiving to service.

USDA recommends that SFAs use the Process Approach to HACCP because it gives them flexibility to create a program suitable for a variety of situations. The process approach categorizes food preparation into three broad categories based on how many times each menu item moves through the temperature danger zone.

Requirements of a School Food Safety Program

The written food safety plan for each school food preparation and service site must include the following elements:

  • Documented Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)  
  • Documenting menu items in the appropriate HACCP process category
  • Documenting Critical Control Points (CCP) of food production
  • Monitoring
  • Establishing and documenting corrective actions
  • Recordkeeping
  • Reviewing and revising the overall food safety program periodically

More information on developing a school food safety plan, is available.