HACCP Services

  • Overview
  • NSF and HACCP
  • HACCP Certification Benefits
  • Training
  • Consulting

HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) is the internationally recognized risk-based system for managing food safety.  As described in the Codex Alimentarius, HACCP provides the general principles of food hygiene from primary production through final consumption, highlighting key hygiene controls at each stage. Built on the foundation of effective prerequisite programs such as training, pest control and sanitation, HACCP applies control measures to prevent, eliminate or reduce significant hazards to an acceptable level.


HACCP was developed in the 1960s by the Pillsbury Company in response to NASA’s request for a preventative food safety system for astronauts. It has become the standard for food safety management systems around the world.


HACCP can be applied to all stages of a food supply chain, from food production and preparation processes, to packaging and distribution. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) both require HACCP programs for juice, seafood, and meat and poultry.


HACCP-based food safety programs are required for Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standards (such as SQF, BRC, IFS, FSSC 22000, etc.) And HACCP is the basis for preventative controls as set forth in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

NSF provides a variety of services related to FSMA and GFSI, including HACCP certification.  Our HACCP certification program can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of the Codex principles and to ensure that a site’s activities meet those described in the HACCP plan. Depending on the identified need, NSF can provide certification and, separately, training and consulting relating to any of these areas.

Use of NSF consulting services or attending NSF training sessions does not provide an advantage, nor is it linked in any way to the granting of certification.


NSF International has been providing HACCP services for many years and is a longstanding and credible HACCP training provider, recognized by the International HACCP Alliance and the Seafood HACCP Alliance. In addition:

  • NSF was the first service provider to develop and offer HACCP systems registration in 2000.
  • At the same time, NSF began to offer HACCP certification, which was the conceptual forbearer of FSSC 22000 and other GFSI-benchmarked schemes.
  • NSF’s auditors and consultants are trained HACCP managers with extensive breadth and depth of experience in developing, implementing and managing HACCP programs.

HACCP Certification Benefits

With decades of food safety and HACCP expertise, NSF is well poised to provide HACCP certification.

HACCP certification helps food manufacturing sites:

  • Demonstrate an actively maintained and continuously improving food safety system
  • Meet customer (e.g. co-packer, retailer) requirements with confidence
  • Provide a complete overview of the interaction of the food safety systems used on-site
  • Contribute to HACCP review and verification activities to ensure documentation is aligned with site procedures

In addition, certification provides:

  • Increased internal and external confidence in your products, which translates to greater credibility with global customers/partners and international breadth and recognition to ensure global appeal
  • Reduced risk of producing unsafe products, due to effectively implemented and managed programs

Certification Process

Successful HACCP certification requires five steps to achieve the initial certificate, which is valid for three years. Following initial certification, a surveillance audit (which may be unannounced) is required in the following two years. 

Prior to embarking on the HACCP certification process, a facility can elect to pursue an optional gap analysis and consultation. Under a separately managed program, an experienced NSF consultant assesses your current HACCP system for fitness and effectiveness. The consultant provides coaching and, if necessary, hands-on assistance in developing your system documentation and recordkeeping procedures.

The HACCP certification process involves five steps:

  1. On-site GMP audit – An NSF auditor completes an NSF supplier assurance or GMP audit. Facilities with a current GFSI certificate are exempt from this audit, but an on-site GMP audit is required to obtain and maintain HACCP certification.
  2. Desktop (off-site) HACCP documentation review – An NSF auditor assesses the plan for compliance to the requirements of Codex Alimentarius HACCP principles, national and local legislation, and industry codes of practice and guidelines.
  3. HACCP certification audit – An NSF auditor visits the site to determine the effectiveness of the HACCP plan implementation. After successful closure of any required corrective actions, NSF reviews the documentation from the audit and makes the final certification decision.  Certificates are issued to facilities approved for HACCP certification, which begins the three-year HACCP cycle.
  4. Annual surveillance audits –NSF conducts annual surveillance audits using the HACCP certification audit checklist to verify both HACCP and prerequisite program compliance.
  5. Re-certification audit – Prior to the expiry of the existing HACCP certificate, NSF conducts a new HACCP certification audit to verify HACCP and prerequisite program compliance. Successful completion of the recertification audit begins a new three-year cycle.

Use of NSF consulting services does not provide an advantage, nor is it linked in any way to the granting of certification.


NSF’s series of HACCP training courses provides the practical and technical information you need to develop, implement and manage a successful HACCP system. Living up to its mandate of offering the most relevant food safety and quality training, NSF continues to dedicate a great deal of research and development into the continual enhancement of our HACCP series. Programming reflects recent changes in regulatory policy and improved application and practices for the food industry.

Our internationally recognized HACCP programs have been developed according to principles of adult education and designed to incorporate hands-on group exercises, providing increased opportunity for discussion and interaction with leading industry experts. This comprehensive training series helps you and your organization identify and manage food safety hazards for food safety assurance throughout the supply chain.


NSF’s HACCP courses are presented by knowledgeable food safety experts who possess scientific and academic backgrounds along with the hands-on industry experience necessary to communicate the relevant course information and the latest issues related to global food safety.

Each NSF instructor has 20+ years’ experience in various sectors of the food industry including quality assurance, manufacturing, distribution, environmental health, food safety inspection and auditing. All instructors are seasoned trainers with proven education and training skills in HACCP along with HACCP-based food safety management systems including SQF and BRC.

Check out the latest NSF HACCP course offerings.

Attending NSF training sessions does not provide an advantage, nor is it linked in any way to the granting of certification.


NSF offers a variety of HACCP-related consulting services including:

  • Food safety management systems review and gap analysis
  • Prerequisite program development and documentation
  • Plan development and documentation
  • Preparation for certification to the global food safety standards

NSF’s HACCP consulting services for HACCP are managed separately from HACCP registration services to avoid conflicts of interest.

Use of NSF consulting services does not provide an advantage, nor is it linked in any way to the granting of certification.

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