17 Acronyms Everyone Working in Food Manufacturing Should Know

Acronyms are designed to simplify life, but do they? How many times have you seen a series of letters and felt like you should know what they stand for? 

You might work in the food industry, but you don’t want to stew (pun intended) over acronyms. Whether you are new to the industry or have been working in it for years, here are some of the abbreviations worth knowing. 

RTE – Ready to Eat
As the name suggests RTE foods are ready to eat with no preparations, heating or cooking required. This could include instant snacks, baked goods, deli meats, instant/breakfast cereals, ready-made sandwiches, and salads, etc.

RTC – Ready to Cook
These products are designed to be heated/cooked and clear instructions must appear on the packaging. These products could include frozen goods such as pizza, vegetables, and ready meals.

HWS- Hand Wash Sink
All HWS should have both hot and cold water. They should be used to wash hands only and not utensils, food, disposal of mop water, or other waste. Clear signage is required.

CCP – Critical Control Point
CCP is defined as the point at which steps are put into place to remove or minimise a high chance that a health risk will occur. Examples include cooking, cooling, re-heating, and holding.

CP – Control Point
CP is the point where loss of control may result in a financial or quality defect, or a low chance of a health risk occurring.

NC – Non Conformity
This is when a business is not fulfilling specified audit criteria.

FSRA- Food Safety Risk Assessment 
Every employer must conduct risk assessments as per the UK The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Employers must assess the risks to the health and safety of themselves, their employees, and anyone who may be affected by their actions. 

CAP – Corrective Action Plan
This is a quality assurance management document as it outlines steps to address issues or gaps in business operations that could have negative implications for the business. It lays out processes to resolve an issue.

TACCP  – Threat Assessment Critical Control Point
TACCP helps food producers to identify vulnerabilities within the food chain with a focus on food tampering, intentional adulteration, and contamination of food. Allowing the business to put systems in place to minimize such an attack taking place. 

VACCP – Vulnerability Assessment Critical Control Point
Similar to TACCP, VACCP looks to identify and control vulnerabilities within the food chain with a focus on fraud such as counterfeiting, adulteration, smuggling, stolen goods, dilution, and mislabelling.

PPM- Planned Preventative Maintenance 
This is when equipment maintenance is scheduled regularly – even while it is still operating normally.

IA- Internal Audit(s)
An internal audit acts as a ‘pre-test’ before an external audit takes place. An evaluation of the business controls is carried out, ensuring the company complies with laws and industry regulations.

LR – Low Risk
Low-risk foods do not tend to need refrigeration until opened. They tend to be high in sugar, salt, or acid and/ or low in water content as this slows the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Examples include bread, pickled foods, jams, and chocolate.

HR – High Risk
High-risk foods are goods that support the growth of pathogenic bacteria. They do not require any further heat treatment or cooking before consumption so are more likely to result in food poisoning. Examples include dairy products, cooked meat, and meat products such as pasties.

EFK – Electrical Fly Killer Unit
These units lure in flies and insects using ultraviolet light, once inside the unit the fly or insect is eliminated by electrocution. They have been nicknamed ‘fly zappers’ as the unit makes a zap sound when an insect touches the electrical grid.

FLT – Fork Lift Truck
A small vehicle with two prongs at the front that moves heavy loads. They are often used in warehouses to stack and move materials. 

IG- Incoming Goods
As the name suggests, goods that enter the facilities. All incoming goods should be inspected identifying any problems or defects and putting steps in place to correct any issues.

Bookmark this blog post to refer to the next time you are stewing over a food manufacturing acronym.


Control Points and Critical Control Points, HACCP page 97-98

HACCP, VACCP, TACCP and HARPC – Food Safety Plans Explained, The Australian Institute of Food Safety, Assessed July 2022

Health and Safety, University of Warwick, Accessed July 2022