Learn About the Importance of Food Safety and What to Do to Ensure It
Food is a requirement sustained life. It is the responsibility of the manufacturers as well as every responsible party within the food supply chain to ensure the quality and safety of the food supplied meets are required standards. Getting healthy and safe foods is everyone’s right! The World Health Organization (WHO) has been alarming nations around the world about the importance of food safety. According to it, a huge number of children and adults get sick every year due to foodborne diseases. Thus, it is the duty and responsibility of the food producers, suppliers, manufacturers, restaurant owners, and handlers to ensure that food provided to consumers is supplied in the safest conditions and manner.
This blog presents a brief introduction to food safety for enterprises and individuals who are engaged in the production of food and beverages. It further explains what crucial steps that they should take for ensuring food safety.
Importance of Food Safety for Businesses in the Food Sector
“Food safety defines the set of practices that should be followed at each stage of food manufacturing or processing to ensure the foods produced in the end are safe for consumption.”
The regulatory authorities in the food and agriculture sector collaborate with the national governmental agencies, food manufacturers, researchers, and private entities to maintain the cleanest and safest global food supply chain, enrich nutrition levels, educate food manufacturers and handlers, and enhance the wellbeing of consumers.
More specifically, ensuring food safety will help to:
- Prevent food hygiene issues, foodborne diseases or any food-related accidents. These are the key concerns of the manufacturers, suppliers, restaurants, and takeaways. Any illness or harmful effect caused to the consumer due to transmission of bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites could be matter of life or death. Thus, manufacturers, hoarders, transporters, preparers, cooks, and everyone else should be careful about maintaining hygiene while handling the food.
- Prevent harmful substances. Additionally, many food products are made using certain substances like artificial flavors and preservatives. What makes sure that those substances are free from toxic or harmful chemicals? Food safety practices ensure that. It will involve checking those substances i.e., their composition, permissible limits, etc. in labs or by inspection agents.
- Prevent safety issues. Food safety issues such as defective packaging, unusual taste or smell, inappropriate color, etc. result in recall or refund of the products. The safety practices are useful for preventing such different issues which save time as well as costs for the food suppliers or manufacturers.
- Reduce food waste as much as possible. A huge amount of waste is generated by the food industry every single day. Food safety thus also includes innovations in the food production and supply chain methods so that less waste is generated. Moreover, the proper disposal of the waste materials like bottles, containers, cans, boxes, etc. so that they cannot be reused is extremely essential. Thus, the companies or manufacturers need to spread a message to consumers about disposing them of properly after consumption.
For all these evident reasons, every business or entity in the food supply chain needs to act responsibly toward food safety. Here are some of the major roles that you should undertake in your own food business.
3 Key Ways to Ensure Food Safety in Your Business
Comply with Regulations and Standards
Governmental food regulatory bodies imposed laws and regulations for food safety. The three most prominent bodies are the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). Such bodies along with the present government establish laws for ensuring food safety and preventing illnesses or food infections. Also, there are international bodies like ISO (International Organization for Standardization) that provides separate standards for food safety.
The responsibility of companies in the food and beverage sector is to conform to the laws and regulations by implementing appropriate practices. Maintaining compliance with the laws and regulations is in fact a necessary condition for the companies or retailers to survive in the industry. There are food inspection agencies that can turn up at any time to audit your methods or food products and if they found any noncompliance, they can penalize your business, initiate litigation, or cancel your business permit.
Thus, make sure you are continually adhering to the regulations and laws by updating your production methods and processes.
Involve the Top Management
Managers, and or executives in the top management team of your business are directly responsible for food safety. Their responsibility starts with training each of the members or employees in their company about the practices of food safety. They should initiate training programs, orient the employees, and remind them about potential food safety hazards and practices to prevent them.
The practices implemented for food safety must be in line with the international and regional food safety regulations concerning your particular industry. Therefore, the managers need to be aware of them and also update their practices according to the changes made in the laws or regulations.
Educate the Customers
The responsibility of ensuring food safety also somehow falls on the consumers. Firstly, they should be concerned about the safety, hygiene, and nutritional value of the food products they consume. They should always demand the products that are high in all these values. This creates pressure on food manufacturers or handlers to produce food that assures safety of consumption and is high in nutrition.
Thus, you need to make sure that your customers know about the safety and nutrition requirements in your particular food products. They should be made aware of the safety practices regarding handling, carrying and storing the products so that their safety and nutrition are preserved. All key information must be provided to the consumer within or on the packaging and through a number marketing methods.
Ensuring food safety is the collective responsibility of all businesses or entities in the food industry. The responsibility starts in the agriculture sector i.e. the harvesters of raw materials (crops, livestock, etc). It goes to the food manufacturers, processors, distributors, retailers, restaurants/cafes, and every player in the supply chain. It ends with the consumers.
The key importance of food safety lies in preventing illnesses from food consumption or foodborne diseases. While governments and various food regulatory authorities are implementing laws based on modern health and hygiene principles to ensure food safety, maintaining compliance with them consistently is necessary for all food businesses and food handlers. They can do so by integrating a management system that promotes quality control and food safety assurance methods in their business.
Do you need to help in getting a management system for your food business? We, at Compliancehelp Consulting LLC, will assist you in getting it and achieving a quality assurance certification to demonstrate the safety and quality of your food products. Get in touch today!