A HACCP product description sheet contains all critical details about a food product, including its name, its intended use, its processing methods, and the relevant potential hazards. This documented information is essential for the deployment of a HACCP system.

Accordingly, you should include the following information at a minimal within the the Product Description document:

  • Product Name,
  • Ingredients used in the final product, or the ingredient itself,
  • Processing methods/technologies such as heat-treatment, freezing, drying, brining, smoking,
  • Any presence of preservatives and allergens as per local legislation,
  • Information about the final packaging materials,
  • Shelf life of the product,
  • Storage conditions before product opening,
  • Storage conditions after product opening.

Of course, additional information may be required as per the HACCP standard used.

We can use the main requirements in table 1 of the 3 internationally recognized Food Safety Management System referential.

Table 1: Comparison of the 3 main international food safety management standards for the information needed in a product description documented information.

Tips:  You can see that the greyed area are not mentioned in the all the 3 standards. However, all above 3 standards do warn that the information provided are to be used as a guideline.

A typical example of a product description document would be as follows:

Who creates a product description documented information?

  • We can assign selected members of the food safety team to draft and review the information.
  • The product description will follow the Standard framework for traceability.
  • It is the food safety team or HACCP team who normally review and validate this document.

How do we create such documentation?

  • It is highly recommended for you to use an Office solution such as word processor for this document creation.
  • You can also create this document for marketing usage and we would recommend using a more dynamic format such as a video media.
  • Expert usage of such powerful platform includes, Youtube, Vimeo can be a real asset to drive confidence level high with customers.

Why is this product description sheet important?

Enhancing food safety

It outlines the specific characteristics and composition of the final product. Therefore, you are complying with a prerequisite of HACCP flow, when you provide detailed information about the ingredients, processing methods, and potential hazards as well as the final intended use of your products,

Building Consumer Trust

When consumers purchase your product, they want to feel confident in their choices. The HACCP Product Description Sheet plays a vital role in building consumer trust by providing transparent and accurate information about your product. This level of transparency helps consumers make informed decisions based on their diet preferences, or allergen considerations.


  • A HACCP product description document is a fundamental document in a HACCP system.

  • Documented information must remain an accurate representation of the product and the hazards that may occur during production.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How often should HACCP Product Description Sheets be updated and revised?

Any significant change in the product information requirements must be updated within the documented HACCP Product Description.

Q2: Can HACCP Product Description Sheets be used for both packaged and fresh food products?

Yes, they are applicable. For those requirements which differs from a prepacked product, they can be mentioned as non-relevant.

Q3: Is a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) comparable to a HACCP product description sheet?

Yes, it is. However, the MSDS relates to the safety data of the product while the HACCP product description relates to the food safety scope.

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