HACCP is an acronym for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (pronounced "hassip") and is a food safety program that was developed nearly 30 years ago for NASA to ensure the safety of food products that were to be used by the astronauts in the space program.
Its purpose is to prevent hazards that could introduce potentially dangerous food-borne illnesses in food by applying science-based controls that cover all aspects from raw resources through preparation to final product. This differs from the traditional method of having industry and regulators perform random checks and sampling of manufacturing conditions and final products to ensure food safety.
HACCP has been recognized by the Codex Alimentarius commission (an international food standard-setting organization under the guidance of FAO).
It is in use in many countries and is increasingly becoming a requirement for food manufacturers to have in order to be able to sell their products.