Before beginning to identify the security factors to improve food safety, you need to understand what is meant by food safety first. To make it clear, food safety covers all the factors to ensure that the food, any person has is safe and clean from diseases. When running a food processing business, you must ensure the safety of the food items you are producing. Making compromises in this regard will lead to acute food-borne diseases that will kill your brand’s name. There are five key security measures you can take to make your food processing business a success:
Implement HACCP system
HACCP stands for Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Point to fight safety hazards when processing food. The HACCP system allows businesses to identify the hazards that pose a danger through the production to consumption process. If you are looking for the best safety practices for your food business, then you need to implement HACCP principles with the full commitment of your management and HACCP team.
The HACCP system is based on seven principles that businesses use as a template to determine what procedures and processes are required to make the end product safe from physical, chemical, and biological hazards. There are several ways to implement the HACCP system into your business successfully. It depends on the complexity of your business setup.
Facilitate the location and machinery
The design and location of your food processing plant need to be in the safest area. Areas specifically known for the pest hotspot should be avoided to maintain safety. The BRC global standards state that the size of the production area should be suitable and avoid contamination to facilitate the product’s safety. In addition to the design, your machinery lines should be accessible and have a one-way entrance for staff and visitors to minimize containment risk. Daily inspection of the machines will help you identify the signs of wear and tear before it affects your product. The material must be high quality, durable, and prevent dirt from construction. If you want to construct your production area, consider these factors so it will be easy for you to clean and maintain the plant.
Appropriate waste management
The most important safety measure you should take is to design a procedure to store or dispose of the waste according to the legal requirements. Educate your employees to establish a suitable facility to properly store and dispose of the waste to reduce the chances of contamination once the production is over. Also, when producing food, businesses use different chemicals that create environmental pollution that later attract disease-causing pests. You should pay special attention to the process of storing chemicals that will not contaminate any food products to make your business waste reduction-friendly. When using any chemical, ensure they are environmental-friendly and cause less pollution.
Sustain regular cleaning
Another food security measure you should take is to sustain a process of regular cleaning and disinfecting the preparation area. In case of any carelessness in the cleaning and disinfecting process, you will see a dramatic growth of cockroaches, rats, and mosquitos in your plant that will spread the disease and ruin the quality of your processed food.
First, remove the potential food sources and insect breeding sites near your food processing and preparation area. Secondly, ensure the plant premises are well cleaned, inspected, and sealed once the food is processed and packed. Also, it is better to establish a proactive maintenance strategy for your property and machinery to ensure they produce safe food. It would be best if you kept in mind that the outbreak of food-borne diseases is directly linked to the maintenance and cleanliness of the equipment
Safe packing and storage
Packed and ready-to-eat food is always in people’s attention, and you will find more competition in this industry. In the food processing business, your job is not only revolved around processing safe food but also adopting techniques to make sure that it is delivered safely.
You can adapt pasteurization techniques to protect your food from any harmful micro-organisms. Most food processing industries prefer infrared heating for pasteurization. You should store your cold and hot food items under and over the standard temperature to avoid the growth of any bacteria.
It would help if you focused on the safety standards from packing to delivering by maintaining the prescribed temperature and hygiene level. Properly inspecting the hygiene of vehicles and containers for incoming and outgoing is a must. For food safety, you can also get help from a food consultant to make it a success.
Prioritize personal hygiene
Including the proper equipment cleaning, personal hygiene also plays a vital role in maintaining safety. For this purpose, you should train your staff to wear proper attire and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Your team should be supervised in the correct procedure for maintaining personal hygiene, proper cleaning and disinfecting, pest controlling, and managing waste disposal. This way, your staff will learn their role in food safety and work actively to minimize the chances of physical contamination and the spreading foodborne diseases.
Control over the growth of pests on food processing sites is essential for you to gain. Food manufacturing businesses invest in pest monitoring and detection software to minimize the entrance of pests into food processing establishments. Trouble-making pests: rats, mosquitos, flies, and cockroaches can ruin and infect the food in the making process. This will later cause food-borne illnesses to the people such as E.coli and salmonella. To avoid this hazard and save your brand reputation, you should maintain cleanliness and get software for pest control.
Organize cleaning programs
What will be a more effective measure for maintaining safety other than creating a culture to practice? You can organize monthly programs where your staff gets the proper training to meet the standard safety requirements.
The food consultant will educate your employee; first, they will figure out the hazards and then practice HACCP principles to get the solutions. Areas where your staff need to be trained are:
- Hand hygiene
- Safe food storage practices
- Safe waste disposal practices
- Pest control practices
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