This article discusses the nature and role of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) as a food safety control system and, in particular, its role as an element of public food safety regulation. The notion of efficiency in food safety regulation is discussed and related to the nature of food safety controls. It is suggested that, if appropriately applied, HACCP is a more economically efficient approach to food safety regulation than command and control (CAC) interventions. The economic implications of HACCP are discussed with reference to estimates of the costs and benefits, in particular for the food industry. Finally, the use of HACCP as an international trade standard and the facilitation of trade in processed food products is considered.
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