Steps for Hazard Analysis

These are the basic steps for a hazard analysis

  1. List process steps and ingredients
  2. Identify known or reasonably foreseeable food safety hazards
  3. Determine if the hazard requires a preventive control
  4. Justify the decision
  5. Identify preventive controls for significant hazards

There is no standard format for documenting a hazard analysis. The process and forms used in this lesson have been adapted from a curriculum developed by the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance and have been used by trained lead instructors for food safety plans.

This form can be used to ensure that all steps are analyzed, and the results documented. Other formats can be used but should contain hazard analysis elements of hazard identification, hazard evaluation, and preventive controls selection. It is very important to justify decisions so that they have credibility.

Column 1 of this form is used to list each of the process steps from the flow diagram; including the receiving of each raw material or ingredient used in the process (some may be grouped).

Column 2 is the hazard identification and is used to list all raw materials, ingredients, process, and environment-related hazards identified for each step. It is important to understand that you should list a potential hazard that is introduced at this step, or, if not introduced, is controlled at this step or can get worse at this step.

Column 3 is a simple “Yes” or “No” that states whether the hazard requires a preventive control.


Column 4 is the hazard evaluation and is used to justify your answers in column 3 (and sometimes in column 2 to explain why no hazard was identified).

Column 5 is used only when there is a “Yes” in column 3 to identify the preventive controls that significantly minimize or prevent the hazard, (such as killing pathogens in the process (process control), preventing the introduction of an allergen (allergen control), implementing dry-cleaning sanitation procedures (sanitation control), verifying supplier Certificate of Analysis (supply-chain control), or other preventive controls).

Column 6 is used to document if the preventive control will be managed at that step.

We will use a peanut butter example to illustrate the hazard analysis process and complete a hazard analysis form. You would start by listing each of the process steps in column 1. The hazard analysis is basically a brainstorming exercise where the team generates a list of potential (known or reasonably foreseeable) biological, chemical, and physical food safety hazards that may be introduced, increased, or controlled at each step on the flow diagram.