A food safety manager is responsible for ensuring that food preparation under his management is safe for human or animal consumption. Food safety is essential to prevent outbreaks of food borne diseases. Lack of food safety can compromise public health, endanger consumers and cause enormous amout of business losses. Food safety regulations are important in food business to ensure the production of safe and wholesome food.
Responsibilities Of Food Safety Managers
The food safety manager has the following responsibilities:
1. Must be aware of different potential food hazards and must take sufficient care to mitigate this.
2. Must be knowledgeable about cleanliness, standard to be followed and the required temperature for uptimum storage.
3. Must know the measures to be taken to prevent bacteria, virus and fungi from spoilage food.
4. Be able to take steps to prevent pests like rats from infesting food preparation areas.
5. The food safety manager should know all the details in food making chain and then work out precautionary steps for safe food handling.
6. Design and implement a workable food safety management system.
7. Be able to make food safety policies known to different people and organizations involved in the production process.
8. The manager must maintain a constant vigil to make sure that the policies are actually followed in the day food production operations.
9. Train all employees in food safety pre-requisite programmes.
10. Assess each food production process and develop critical control points that must be moonitored to assure the production of safe and wholesome food products.
Hygienic Food Management Strategies
Hygiene is a branch of science that deals with the promotion and preservation of health. Cleanliness and hygiene are often used inter-changeably which can cause confusion. In general, hygiene mostly means practices that prevent spread of disease-causing organisms. The processes of cleanliness such as washing, removing of dirt, soils and microbes are often the means to achieve hygiene.
Effects Of Food Hygienic Environment Where Food Is Kept
Food hygiene is concerned with the hygiene practices that prevent food poisoning and contamination. The key strategies of food hygiene are:
i. Prevent contamination of food through persons, pets and pests.
ii. Separate raw and cooked foods to prevent contaminating cooked food.
iii. Cook food for the appropriate length of time and the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens.
iv. Store foods at the proper temperature.
v. Use safe water and raw materials in food preparation and service.
Unhygienic Food Handling Methods
Food hygiene is relevant to everyone that comes in contact with food. In food processing, production, selling, storing and retailing food hygiene is important.
Unhygienic conditions in food handling include:
1. Food handlers smoking.
2. Food handlers being unclean or not wearing clean clothing.
3. Food handlers having uncovered cuts or grazes.
4. Refrigerated or chilled foods kept at incorrect temperatures.
5. Premises not being clean; in good repair and ventilated.
6. Leaving food uncovered allowing pets, flies, cockroaches and other insects to carry germs and contaminate the food.
7. Touching parts of the body while handling food. When preparing food, a food handler may scratch a pimple, touch a sore or push back hair, scratch an ear or rub or pick the nose. If the hands are not washed before handling the food again bacteria may be passed to the food.
8. Rubbing the nose, sneezing and licking the fingers.
9. Not washing hands after going to toilet.
10. Lack of hand washing between handling raw and smoked foods.
Effect Of Unhygienic Food Handling On Consumers
Food contamination does not just happen, it is always caused. The causes often stem from unhygienic conditions and practices. Food poisoning and related infections result in:
1. Different forms of ill-health personal inconvenieces.
2. Loss of revenue and reduction in gross profit through losses in man hours and through loss of patronage by consumers.
3. Several diseases such as hepatitis, botulism, salmonellosis, cholera, etc can make an individual suffer in terms of physical health, earning and wellbeing.