What is food safety and why is it important?

Food safety

Food safety refers to food preparation, food handling, and storage procedures in order to avoid foodborne illness and injury.

Food products may encounter a variety of health hazards as they travel through the supply chain, from farm to factory to fork.

To minimize these risks and protect consumers, implement safe food handling guidelines at every stage of the food production process.

Why is food safety is crucial?

Because everyone requires access to safe and nutritious food. Food hygiene is critical for ensuring that the food you serve is safe to consume.
It plays a significant role in the prevention of food poisoning. Food safety has an impact on other important aspects of food, such as nutrition and food supply:

Lower risk of diseases and deaths caused by consuming unsafe food, Financial losses from foodborne illnesses are less likely to occur (such as typhoid, hepatitis A, diarrhea, and dysentery).

Guaranteeing a constant food supply, Improved public health, thereby reducing the burden on the healthcare system, Nutritional deficiencies are less likely to occur.

food safety laws

The majority of food safety laws around the world bases on two concepts: HACCP and GMP.

HACCP

HACCP refers to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points – is a risk-based systemic approach to preventing biological, chemical, and physical contamination of food in production, packaging, and distribution environments.

The HACCP concept intends to mitigate health risks by identifying potential food safety issues before they occur, rather than inspecting products for food safety hazards
after they have occurred.

GMP

GMP refers to Good Manufacturing Practices are internationally recognized quality assurance guidelines for the production of food, beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, and medical devices.

Food Safety: The 4 Cs

While many people believe that common illnesses are caused by bacteria outside of the kitchen, they are actually caused by poor hygiene.
Food poisoning is typically caused by poor hygiene with germs for foods such as meat, chicken, eggs, fish and seafood, raw fruit, and raw vegetables.

It is likely caused by not being cooked properly, bacteria transferred to kitchen surfaces or contamination with other foods.
The four simple rules that are practiced worldwide, not only in the food industry but also in our homes, it’s to help you avoid food-borne illnesses in the kitchen which are:

Cleaning

Cooking

Cross-contamination

Chilling

Also remember the golden rule:

If in doubt – throw it out!

It is important to note that bacteria-contaminated food will not necessarily taste, look, or smell any different than non-contaminated food, so throw it out if in doubt.

Hardly anyone wants food poisoning, so be cautious and stay safe!

Problems and Solutions in Food Safety

In these cases, poor hygiene in food handling will result in illnesses or food poisoning that can be easily avoided, which is why it is essential to apply the four Cs of food hygiene: cross-contamination, cleaning, cooking, and chilling.

Most foodborne diseases can be avoided by following proper food handling procedures. here are 6 strategies for improving food safety in the catering industry.

  1. Food Handling
  2. Food Preparation
  3. Temperature
  4. Storage
  5. Food Hygiene
  6. Clothing and Footwear

In-Flight Food Safety

The aviation industry has its own adaptation of HACCP, developed by the International Flight Services Association (IFSA).
Other than hygiene practices, one of the tenets of these guidelines is temperature control.

Any place where produce food can be vulnerable to contamination. In-flight menus, however, come with extra challenges.
Need to assemble Airline catering kitchens prepare high quantities of ready-to-eat meals.

For example, explains Dible, kitchen staff could spread out enough bread on tables to make 25-30 sandwiches at one time, and then put luncheon meat, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese on all of them.

After assemblation and packaging, food is sent from the kitchen to the aircraft. This step can be accomplished fast and without incidents – or riddled with unpredictable stops and delays.

Although catering trucks today are much better equipped than ever before, food may still be exposed to dangerous temperatures during this journey.
Once they arrive at their destination, meals should be immediately put in galleys that keep them warm or cold until it is served.

The last link of this logistic chain is in the hands of flight attendants serving food to passengers. By their very nature, aircraft are places with a high concentration of people and objects where bacteria could spread quickly, so personal hygiene is one of the prerequisites of HACCP.