Why food safety is important in the food industry?
Food safety refers to the handling, processing and storing of raw-materials and ingredients in a safe and healthy manner that keeps consumers free of foodborne illness. Food security covers and follows a host of processes starting from on-farm production right through to processing, distributing, and storing through to selecting, preparing, and consuming food. Safety is therefore critical, whether at home or in an establishment that deals with food. Failure to observe safe production of food can potentially result in an outbreak of a foodborne illness, which endangers life, and in the case of food businesses, harms their long-term brand reputation, essentialy reducing profits and as a result could cause the business to shut down.
Why safety is very important in the food industry
Food safety is important for a number of financial and ethical reasons.
Food safety helps to protect consumers from risks of foodborne illnesses. In addition, consumers are free from health related risks, including allergic reactions from allergies, food poising and even death. Safe food means the consumer can eat without worrrying about any health risk arising from the products that they consume.
Protects food processors
Food security also protects establishments that process and manufacture foods from product recalls due to food safety concerns and contaminated products being released into the market. Upon discovering safety defects, they can disrupt the operations of the business and subject them to a costly product recall. Food safety also ensures that your business can run uninterrupted for example by lawsuits and fines due to food safety concerns. It also ensures complete acceptance of your businessess’ products by customers and helps a business build a strong and healthy reputation.
Reduces loss of income
Good food safety helps to reduce loss of income and costs of health care for vulnerable individuals. Foodborne illnesses are generally under reported, but they are among the common causes of hospital admissions in the UK and are a major public health concern.
Practices to ensure food safety
Food safety is important, and there is a need to ensure your business can provide safe products to your consumers. Some practices you can implement into your business to ensure product safety include the following.
Correct use of Disposable Gloves
Gloves are critical to ensuring food safety. They create a physical barrier between the food that you are preparing or generally handling and your hand. In the event that your hands have germs, this glove barrier ensures that foodborne illness does not spread. However, to be effective, you must use the gloves correctly and ensure that they are changed regulary i.e.after each task. Otherwise, you will spread pathogens, including several other contaminants to your products, potentially leading to illness and diseases. The correct practice involves changing the gloves upon switching tasks or after 1 to 2 hours, and every time they tear or become dirty. The rule of thumb is to change your gloves whenever you think they are contaminated. Meanwhile, you should also ensure that you do not touch your hair or face or indeed any body part exposed to germs. Also, ensure to clean your hands prior to and after wearing gloves.
Properly washing your hands can help you prevent the spread of disease and pathogenic bacteria. Indeed, washing your hands and ensuring that they are clean is foundational to most other techniques for ensuring food safety. Techniques such as the use of gloves are ineffective if you do not ensure clean hands. To wash your hands, you should scrub them thoroughly with soap, including beneath the fingernails, and the lower arms. Thereafter, you should dry them with a towel without again touching the dispenser. As with gloves, you should wash your hands every time you switch tasks and upon using the restroom, or touching your germ-prone body parts such as hair, face, or mouth.
Clean and Sanitize
Ensure to clean and sanitize all surfaces where food is cooked, prepared, and handled. This will prevent the spread of germs and other harmful bacteria. Use soap, water, and detergents to remove pathogens and dirt. After cleaning, sanitize the same areas to kill off the bacteria hidden to the naked eye in the equipment and surfaces. To avoid cross-contamination, clean and sanitize surfaces and equipment at once remembering to leave the sanitizer in place for the correct contact time, and ensure to cover all areas, including cutting boards. Avoid placing vegetables or fruits on surfaces that you have not washed and do not eat or serve them before washing with fresh clean running water.
Determinants of food safety
The determinants of food safety broadly include physical determinants and social and behavioral determinants.
Physical determinants of food safety
Hazards for products, such as pathogens, germs, and other chemical contaminants usually enter the supply chain of food at any point starting from the farm gate to the dinner table. You cannot detect most of these hazards when you purchase raw materials and ingredients or when consuming food products. Additionally, the food itself can lead to severe body reactions, especially in people with allergies.
Social and behavioral determinants
People’s behaviors and their social activities largely contribute to food safety. These start from the farm processes, including gathering and sorting food, through kitchen practices involved in cooking and preparing it, to the dining table when people sit down to eat the food. The behaviors and activities of people across these processes determine the safety of food that eventually enters the stomach.
Challenges to food safety
Food safety faces challenges from two angles, namely from the food industry and from the consumers.
The food industry for example finds it challenging to trace food items back to where they come from. They also face the huge challenge of frequently changing production practices. Consumers meanwhile sometimes do not know when to cook certain foods. They also face the challenge of knowing the correct temperatures at which to store food, etc
Benefits to Safety Training
The benefits to food hygiene training for your staff, will undoubtedly help your business grow from strength to strength. If your staff are knowledgeable and know the correct practices and procedures required by law to be carried out in a food premise then this will result in less customer complaints, less fines, lower insurance premiums, less chance of prosecution and less chance of your business failing as a result of losing staff and customers.
Food safety is a legal requirement in the UK.
Any food business is required to ensure that all food it produces and sells to consumers is safe to eat. This includes the design, construction and operation of any premises where food is manufactured, prepared, processed, distributed or sold. The law also applies to any event where food is sold.
The Food Standards Agency is responsible for ensuring that food safety legislation is enforced and that food businesses comply with the law. This includes inspecting premises and taking enforcement action if necessary – including prosecution of those who persistently ignore the law.
I would argue that food safety is a requirement in the UK because it ensures the safety of consumers.
Food safety is not legally required in the UK but the FSA has a duty to regulate and monitor food safety.
There are no legal requirements for food safety in the UK. However, the Food Standards Agency has a duty to regulate and monitor food safety.
The FSA has three main tasks:
1) To ensure that all food businesses comply with food hygiene law and that any food safety risks are identified and managed appropriately.
2) To monitor food hygiene standards across the whole of the food industry, so that consumers can be confident that they are buying safe, good quality food.
3) To provide advice and guidance to consumers on how to make sure that their food is safe.
The FSA also monitors
Food safety is a legal requirement in the UK. The Food Standards Agency website states that “the law says that food businesses must follow certain rules to ensure food is safe to eat. These rules cover the hygiene of food handlers, the cleanliness of food premises and the correct storage and display of food.”
The Food Standards Agency website also states that “the law says that food businesses must follow certain rules to ensure that food is safe to eat.” These rules cover the hygiene of food handlers, the cleanliness of food premises and the correct storage and display of food.
The UK Food Standards Agency website also states that “food businesses must follow certain rules to ensure that food is safe to eat.”
Foodborne illnesses are a public health concern that is unfortunately under reported. They strain public health and significantly affect the cost of health care. In addition, they present a critical challenge to some particular groups of people. Granted, anyone can fall sick of a foodborne illness, however, some are at greater risk, especially the elderly, pregnant women, people with a low immune response and younger children and babies. Foodborne illnesses are however preventable, provided you prioritize food safety throughout the processes where food handling is done. This is where a good food safety management system will help out, such as, HACCP.
Allergens are typically harmless substances that cause a person who is susceptible to react immediately. Many people in the UK suffer some kind of allergic disorder, the most common being food allergies that cover a host of different hypersensitivities to food.
Workplace health and safety is critical to the wellbeing – both mental and physical – of everybody, including visitors, workers, customers, and managers. Every business should therefore prioritise it.
Not sure what level of Food Safety Certificate you require? Read this article to make it easier for you to decide!