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In Summary: 10 Steps to ensure food safety

In Summary: 10 Steps to ensure food safety
There are numerous variables which food processing organizations need to consider while guaranteeing food safety for customers. Compliance with food safety standards and guidelines can help avoid food-borne diseases like Salmonella, E. coli and Campylobacter.
Here are 10 basic steps that will assist you guaranteeing that food safety is applied to your business.

1- 1. Facilities placement and design

The plan and area of a food handling facility should be considered while guaranteeing food safety satisfies the right guidelines. Areas that are known to be pest “hot spots” just as inclined to contamination should be avoided to decrease the probability of pollution.
Materials used should be durable, forestall development of earth, easy to clean and safe.

2- 2. Machines, Utilities, and Equipment

The layout and design of the production line and machines should allow easy maintenance and cleaning of machinery and surrounds and prevent contamination of the food products and ingredients during food processing.
Poor design can result in build-up of food material in hidden places that are difficult to clean. There are standards for machinery design, such as the NSF equipment design standard, to ensure all food handling and processing is performed to a high standard of hygiene.
The 10 NSF’s principles of sanitary design are:
1. Cleanable to a microbiological level
2. Made of compatible materials
3. Accessible for inspection, maintenance, cleaning and sanitation
4. No product or liquid collection
5. Hollow areas hermetically sealed
6. No niches
7. Sanitary operational performance
8. Hygienic design of maintenance enclosures
9. Hygienic compatibility with other plant systems
10. Validate cleaning and sanitizing protocols

3- Pest control

Pest control has a significant impact in food safety. Problematic insects , for example, cockroaches and flies can spread food-borne infections by contaminating food at production stage.
Rodents also spread diseases and causing damage to buildings. Warehouse insects can damage and contaminate products during transport and storage.
Putting resources into pest control can help keep pests from entering a food processing.

4- Waste management

Establish adequate procedures for the storage and removal of waste reduces risk of contamination of ingredients, equipment and products.

5- Cleaning

Cleaning and disinfection programs should be established to ensure the correct hygiene standards are met and reduce the risk of a foodborne illness outbreak.
This includes properly cleaning and disinfecting food preparation areas as well as machinery and utensils used within all production stages to eliminate the harmful microorganisms and reduce the risk of pests.

6- Proactive maintenance

An article from the Food Safety Magazine states that a number of foodborne illness outbreaks can be linked to the failure to ensure equipment is properly maintained under the correct sanitary conditions. They provide an example of a botulism outbreak in the early 1980’s which was caused by improperly performing can reformer machines.

7- Personal hygiene

Bacteria can easily be spread through biological and physical contamination putting foods at high risk of carrying food-borne diseases, so ensuring that the proper personal hygiene is met contributes towards meeting food safety requirements.

8- Environmental hygiene

Food processing facilities rely on the use of potentially dangerous chemicals for sanitation and pest control. Because of this attention has to be applied to reduce the risk of accidental environmental contamination during the food processing cycle.
Food safety practices need to be applied to ensure the chemicals stored and used on food processing premises do not contaminate the food products at any stage in production.

9- Handling, storage & transport

Food safety should be applied during handling, storage and transportation, for both incoming materials and products going out to customers.
Temperature and humidity, hygiene of vehicles, containers and packaging are factors need to be considered during stages of the food supply chain.
The FDA provides guidance on the Sanitary Transportation of Food to prevent food safety problems during transportation.

10- Staff training

Areas which staff should be trained about include:
• Hand hygiene
• Safe food storage practices
• Safe food handling practices
• Cleaning for food safety
• Pest control

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