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Government information for entrepreneurs

Applying food hygiene (HACCP) principles

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

In the Netherlands, if you prepare, process, treat or transport food or drink for human or animal consumption, you must do this safely. You must have a plan based on the HACCP principles (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points). This is an analysis of risks involved and procedures for controling these risks throughout the entire food production process.

HACCP plan and hygiene codes

You can either:

  • draw up your own HACCP food safety plan. Your plan must take into account the seven basic principles of the HACCP-systemExternal link. The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel en Waren Autoriteit, NVWA) will evaluate your plan.
  • work with an approved hygiene code. In this case you automatically fulfil the legal requirements. You will find a list of hygiene codesExternal link per sector on the (Dutch-language) website of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority.

Catering at fairs and events

If you prepare and sell food and drinks during fairs or events, you must have either a HACCP food safety plan or a hygiene code. Furthermore, market stalls and festival tents must meet special requirements with regard to hygiene and how they are set up.

HACCP and home-based catering

If you have a home-based catering company and use your kitchen in a professional as well as private capacity, you must make a clear distinction between foodstuffs for catering and for yourself. Use different fridges for example. Or write the text 'private' on products. If you do not do so, the NVWA will assume that all of the foodstuffs are for catering use if they carry out an inspection. That means everything must meet the HACCP standards.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO