Introduction to food safety
Food safety is a scientific method/discipline that describes how to handle, prepare, and store food in order to avoid food-borne illness
1. Prevent pathogens from spreading from people, pets, and pests from contaminating food
2. Separate raw and cooked foods to avoid cross-contamination.
3. To kill pathogens, cook foods for the appropriate amount of time and at the appropriate temperature.
4. Food should be stored at the proper temperature.
5. Use only safe water and raw materials.
6. Proper storage, sanitary tools and work environments, heating and cooling to appropriate temperatures, and avoiding contact with other uncooked foods can all help to reduce the risk of
7. Tightly sealed water and airtight containers are good ways to reduce the possibility of physical and biological contamination during storage.
8. Using clean, sanitary surfaces and tools that are free of debris, chemicals, standing liquids, and
other food types (different from the type currently being prepared, such as mixing vegetables/meats or beef/poultry) can help reduce the possibility of all forms of contamination.
• Food hygienes are the conditions and measures necessary to ensure the safety of food from production to consumption.
• Food can become contaminated at any point during slaughtering or harvesting, processing, storage, distribution, transportation and preparation.
• Lack of adequate food hygiene can lead to foodborne diseases and the death of the consumer.
• Food safety is a scientific discipline describing the handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent foodborne illness. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potential health hazards.
• Both terms, foodborne illness and food poisoning are often used interchangeably by consumers. However, both have different meanings.
• Foodborne illness is an infection or intoxication that results from eating food contaminated with viable (live) microorganisms or their toxins. Foodborne illness also includes allergic reactions and other conditions where foods act as a carrier of the allergen.
• Food poisoning (or foodborne intoxication) is a form of foodborne illness and is caused by the ingestion of preformed toxins.
• Food poisoning is a toxemia associated with the ingestion of preformed microbial toxins. It is NOT an infection.
• The toxins are ingested preformed and no microbial growth within the human is required.
• Symptomology occurs rapidly, usually within 2-12 hours. These toxins either affect the intestine (enterotoxin of C. perfringens) or the central nervous system (neurotoxin of C. botulinum) or both (S. aureus and B. cereus).
• Examples are: S. aureus toxin, B. cereus toxin, C. perfringens toxin, & C. botulinum toxin.
The amount of time it takes for a food to become unsafe to eat is determined by the type of food, the surrounding environment, and other factors.
For example, liquid foods like soup kept in a hot slow cooker (149°F or 65°C) may only last a few hours before contamination, whereas fresh meats like beef and lamb frozen quickly (-2°C) can last up to a year.
Food should be consumed within one to seven (1-7) days if stored in a cold environment, or within one to twelve (1-12) months if frozen (if it was frozen immediately after preparation)
Types of Hazards in Food Hygiene
Chemical Hazards Chemicals in the home include those used:
• To clean kitchen surfaces and equipment
• Pesticides Chemicals can be very harmful if they are: • Spilt on or near food • Mistaken for food or drink Natural toxins
• Toxins are poisonous substances produced by some micro- organisms, plants and animals.
• Most toxins that cause food poisoning are tasteless and remain toxic even after cooking.
Foreign matter can:
• Physically injure people
• Introduce harmful bacteria into food.
Examples of foreign matter include: • Dead insects • Hair • Jewelry • Glass • Pieces of metal.
The microorganisms that can make us sick include:
• Viruses (rotavirus, norwalk virus..)
• Bacteria (Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria…)
• Parasites (Toxoplasma gondii, Trichinella spiralis..)
• Mold (Aspergillus flavus..) Microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria are the most common causes of food poisoning.
The 5 Key Principles of Food Hygiene
1- Proper Cooking
2- Temperature Control
3- Cleaning Equipment
4- Food Sources
5- Good Personal Hygiene
Food Safety Management Systems
• ISO 22000 is a standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization dealing with food safety.
• The ISO 22000 international standard specifies the requirements for a food safety management system that involves interactive communication, system management, prerequisite programs, HACCP principles.
• ISO 22000 was first published in 2005. It is the culmination of all previous attempts from many sources and areas of food safety concern to provide an end product that is safe as possible from pathogens and other contaminants.
• Every 5 years standards are reviewed to determine whether a revision is necessary, to ensure that the standards remain as relevant and useful to businesses as possible.
• ISO 22000 integrates the principles of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point HACCP system and application steps developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. By means of auditable requirements, it combines the HACCP plan with prerequisite programs.
• Hazard analysis is the key to an effective food safety management system, since conducting a hazard analysis assists in organizing the knowledge required to establish an effective combination of control measures.
• ISO 22000 requires that all hazards that may be reasonably expected to occur in the food chain, including hazards that may be associated with the type of process and facilities used, are identified and assessed.
• During hazard analysis, the organization determines the strategy to be used to ensure hazard control by combining the prerequisite programs and the HACCP plan.
• HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.
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