Foodservice HACCP Resources

Generally speaking, a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) program is not required by regulation for most foodservice or retail operations. There are exceptions. The FDA Model Food Code requires foodservice operators to develop HACCP plans for The USDA requires school food programs to have HACCP programs. Go to the School Foodservice HACCP page for more information. 

This page includes resources for those who want to learn more about HACCP for foodservice or retail operations and who may want to voluntarily implement a program.

In addition, if you want to prepare a food product that would not be in compliance with the

Food Code or would require a variance or HACCP plan due to Food Code requirements, (i.e., you want to smoke or cure meat, use reduced oxygen packaging for a food that requires Time/Temperature Control for Safety, etc.) check the section on variances below.

General HACCP information
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Retail & Food Service HACCP

Variances and HACCP plans for specified foods

A HACCP plan may be required if the foodservice establishment wishes to produce a time/temperature control for safety food (TCS food) that would otherwise be prohibited. All of these requirements are documented in the US FDA Model Food Code.

Always check with the Connecticut and/or local or district health department before proceeding with plans to produce food that requires a variance.

The Model Food Code states that:
A food establishment shall obtain a variance from the regulatory authority as specified in § 8-103.10 and under § 8-103.11 before:
(A) Smoking food as a method of food preservation rather than as a method of flavor enhancement;
(B) Curing food;
(C) Using food additives or adding components such as vinegar: (1) As a method of food preservation rather than as a method of flavor enhancement, or (2) To render a food so that it is not time/temperature control for safety food;
(D) Packaging time/temperature control for safety food using a reduced oxygen packaging method except where the growth of and toxin formation by Clostridium botulinum and the growth of Listeria monocytogenes are controlled as specified under § 3-502.12;
(E) Operating a molluscan shellfish life-support system display tank used to store or display shellfish that are offered for human consumption;
(F) Custom processing animals that are for personal use as food and not for sale or service in a food establishment;
(G) Preparing food by another method that is determined by the regulatory authority to require a variance; or
(H) Sprouting seeds or beans.

Annex 4 of the Food Code, Management of Food Safety Practices—Achieving Active Management Control of Foodborne Illness Risk Factors--outlines the process of developing and implementing a HACCP plan.

Additional resources

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
HACCP for retail food operations: resources for training and planning

Specific programs for:

  • HACCP-Assisted Living Operations
  • HACCP-Child Care facilities
  • HACCP-Restaurants


Online course, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
“This course is designed to be a self-guided study for those interested in implementing a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) program for their retail foodservice operations. Completion of this course will give you a solid understanding of HACCP principles and a foundation on which to build your own HACCP plan.”

Additional FDA guidance

US FDA Retail Food Protection Guidance