Food Safety Management Systems and Tools – PRPs, GMP, GHP, SSOPs, HACCP

Introduction to Food Safety Management Systems

Contamination or adulteration of foodstuffs is a menace sapping the vitality of our people. To safeguard the people from the health hazards posed by the contaminants and adulterants, it is necessary to exercise a strict check and control over the quality of foods offered for sale in the different markets. Food safety is a growing global concern not only because of its continuing importance for public health but also because of its impact on international trade.

Food Safety Management System means the adoption of Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Hygienic Practices, Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures, Hazard Analysis, and Critical Control Points and such other practices as may be specified by regulation for the food business (FSS Act). 

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Packaging of Food Products – its Functions and Types, Product Labelling, Nutritional Labelling

Packaging of Food Products

It is packaging for food. “Packaging can be described as a coordinated system of preparing goods for transport, warehousing, logistics, sale, and end-use; it contains, protects, preserves, transports, informs, and sells” (Soroka). A package provides protection, tampering resistance, and special physical and biological, and chemical needs to a food product.

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Food Storage, Storage of Food Items, Cooking and Reheating/Thawing Food

FOOD STORAGE

It is storing an emergency supply of food and water for use in adversity. Food storage allows food to be eaten for some time (typically weeks to months) after harvest rather than solely immediately. Food is stored by almost every human society and by many animals. It is both a traditional domestic skill in the form of food logistics and an important industrial and commercial activity. Food preservation, storage, and transport, including timely delivery to consumers are important to food security, especially for the majority of people throughout the world who rely on others to produce their food. Storing of food has several purposes:

Food Hazards & its Classification, Biological, Chemical & Physical Hazards

Food Hazards 

A food safety hazard is an agent or condition in food that could potentially cause an adverse human health effect. “A food hazard is a biological, chemical or physical agent in a food with the potential to cause adverse health effects” (CAC). “A biological, chemical or physical agent in, or condition of food with the potential to cause adverse health effect is a food hazard” (FSSAI). These hazards can be naturally present in foods or can be introduced during production, processing, packaging, storage, and handling. Hence, reliable identification and characterization of hazards for any supply chain, food, and a group of consumers is an essential basis for risk assessment.

Hygiene and Sanitation in Foodservice Establishments

Hygiene and Sanitation in Foodservice Establishments

A food service establishment is a place where food is provided for individual portion service directly to the consumer; the food may be sold or provided free of charge and is consumed on or off the premises. Different practices that can be followed for proper hygiene and sanitation in food service establishments can be categorized as follows:

1. Location and condition of buildings: Foodservice establishments need to be at safe distance from public places like schools, health facilities, buses, or railway stations. Also, the neighboring area should not have companies that handle or produce toxic compounds or other items that may contaminate, leading to quality compromise to the food product. The space available must be adequate to provide the kind of service that the establishment carries out. Structures within processing establishments should be soundly built of durable materials and easy to be maintained, clean, and disinfect.

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Food Sanitation and Personal Hygiene, Pest and Rodent Control

Food Sanitation and Personal Hygiene

Food sanitation is more than just cleanliness. It includes all practices involved in protecting food from the risk of contamination of harmful microbes, poisons, and foreign bodies, destroying harmful microbes present in food, and preventing the microbes from multiplying to an extent that may cause a hazard to consumers. Although the primary tenet of food-service sanitation is absolute cleanliness; it begins with personal hygiene, safe handling of foods during preparation, and clean utensils, equipment, appliances, storage facilities, kitchen, and dining room.

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The quality of food depends on the condition when purchased and the time-temperature control during storage, preparation, and service. Control of the microbial quality of food must focus on the preparation of food itself, food handlers, facilities, and equipment. Personal hygiene and cleanliness of the facilities and equipment also contribute to food safety.

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Food Audit and Accreditation, The Export (Quality Conrol and Inspection) Act

FOOD AUDIT

Auditing literally means Inspection, but it may involve inspection of the whole manufacturing process from raw material through preparation to dispatch and services and can be very detailed and thorough. An audit is “A systematic examination to determine whether what is actually happening complies with documented procedures” (FAO). A food safety audit means “A systematic and functionally independent examination of food safety measures, adopted by manufacturing units to determine whether such measures and related results meet with objectives of food safety and the claims made in that behalf” (FSSAI). Audits are a crucial component of maintaining food safety standards and certification, by providing transparency and assurance that standards are being maintained. This transparency increases the collaborative capacity of stakeholders across the supply chain and enhances safety, efficiency, and continual improvement within individual organizations.

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