Applying food hygiene (HACCP) principles

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you work with food or drinks for human or animal consumption in the Netherlands? You must do this safely. You must have a plan based on the HACCP principles or work according an approved hygiene code when you:

  • prepare food or drinks
  • process food or drinks
  • treat food or drinks
  • transport food or drinks

Using a HACCP plan

An HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) plan is an analysis of risks involved in your entire food production process and the procedures for controlling these risks. You can draw up your own HACCP food safety plan This plan must be based on the European Hygiene Regulation. The plan should take into account the 7 basic principles of the HACCP-system. The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel en Waren Autoriteit, NVWA) evaluates your HACCP plan and checks if you work according to the plan.

Using a hygiene code

You can also work with an approved hygiene code. If you use an approved hygiene code, you automatically fulfil the legal requirements. You can find a list of hygiene codes per sector on the (Dutch-language) NVWA website. The NVWA monitors if you work according to the hygiene code.

Catering at fairs and events

If you prepare and sell food and drinks at fairs or events (in Dutch), you must also have a hygiene code or a HACCP plan in place which the NVWA will inspect. Furthermore, market stalls and festival tents must meet specific requirements with regard to hygiene and how they are set up (in Dutch). You must for instance make sure your mobile location is easy to clean, is fitted with adequate provisions to clean your hands, tools, and equipment, and have a waste disposal provision.

HACCP and home-based catering

Do you have a home-based company and do you use your kitchen in a professional as well as a private capacity? For instance, a home-based catering company or a bed & breakfast? You must make a clear distinction between foodstuffs for catering and for private use. You can for example use different fridges, or label your private products. If you do fail to do this, the NVWA will inspect all your foodstuffs as if they were for professional use. This means that then everything must meet professional hygiene standards.