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Adopting modern food safety and hygiene practices: Need of the hour

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Why adopting modern food safety and hygiene practices is the need of the hour and how to do it?

Why adopt food quality assurance?

In 2016, more than 200 diseases were spread through food. 10% people fell ill every year across the globe due to contaminated food and 420,000 people died every year as a result of the same, as stated by WHO. These alarming facts highlight the importance of food safety and hygiene in every step of food preparation and/or manufacturing. This largely involves the businesses that are into food manufacturing and distribution. Any safety breach could harm a brand and its reputation. So it is risky to sideline food safety and hygiene management for any organization since customer trust is everything. So what can be done to control the quality of food?

Here are the top things to consider while assuring the quality of food in your business through a modern approach:

  • Adopting Digital revolution in food safety and hygiene practices: A central digitalized automated system can be used for storing information. Operations like documentation or record keeping, statistical process control charting and workflow management functions etc. can be digitalized. There exist path breaking software in the market that automate operations like temperature checks, help customers check allergens and maintain a food safety and hygiene routine.
  • Implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the food safety and hygiene industry: IoT is a booming technology and has wide-range applications. IoT is a collection of devices that are connected to each other via the Internet and share data with each other as and when required. IoT ensures higher levels of traceability in the process of food manufacturing, thereby also ensuring food safety and making them more accountable. When a food safety and hygiene problem is identified, an effective traceability process powered by IOT can help prevent potentially defective products from reaching the consumers at the earliest. For instance, the Internet of Things (IoT) helps to track and identify underlying technical issues along the supply chain, including a food product’s physical transportation from one place to another.
  • Developing an automation plan for the Food Testing Labs: Automation has often been a better approach for managing certain business operations and the same rule applies to the food sector as well. The process of food manufacturing and testing can be made free from human errors through a well-planned automation plan for testing the food and ensuring the quality standards.
  • Compliance to Digital HACCP Checklists: Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a renowned system for food safety and food quality control. Even while leveraging the technology around, the aim should be to improve the productivity of the business. This can be done by ensuring that an organisation complies with the HACCP Checklist that consists of the following:-
  1. Hazard Analysis – What are the possible hazards that may occur during the functioning of your business?

  2. Critical control points – From the first stage to the final stage, what are the hazards that are controllable?

  3. Establish limit “Fail - Safe” for service – What are the standards implemented in the food industry that assure food safety and hygiene quality?

  4. Monitoring – How to ensure that the employees are actually carrying out the food quality control standards frequently and without any errors?

  5. Corrective action – Are proper protocols followed when a foodborne illness occurs?

  • Modern Allergen Testing And Labelling Solution: Allergen Tracking and Labelling solution saves lives. It includes ensuring food safety from allergen cross-contact, safety during storage, handling and use, labeling the processed food, along with ensuring that it is not misbranded. Allergen Tracking and Labelling should be taken into consideration by every modern food business to ensure that the customer demands and changing regulations are met.

  • Automatic Labelling Machine: Focussing on labels is important because it gives the first impression of the packaged food product. Automatic labelling machines are less time-consuming, more professional, cleaner and a more hygienic way of labelling as compared to manual labelling.

  • Environmental monitoring (EM): A deliberate cycle of samplings, observations, and measurements are used to assess the usefulness of microbiological agents in food processing facilities. It determines whether the procedures and frequency of sanitation in a particular environment are effective or not. It also supports the implementation of food safety and hygiene management systems like HACCP etc.

  • Need for Sanitation and Hygiene Verification: There are various methods to ensure food safety and hygiene in the process of food production. Some of these methods are: Visual Inspection, Microbial Enumeration, measuring the levels of Adenosine Tri-phosphate (ATP) post sanitation and before production, etc. If not done effectively, it can adversely affect brand reputation, finance, and citations by regulatory agencies.

  • Education and training of Food Handlers and supervisors on modern practices: Education is probably the most important thing and the biggest challenge that business owners ignore. Knowing the business requirements and importance of food safety and hygiene management is as important as educating and training your workforce. After all, they are the ones who are directly managing the business.

Gain the knowledge and skills essential to lead a successful food safety system audit and achieve continual quality improvement through TÜV SÜD’s Food Safety and Hygiene training Program.

These are the top things that a food sector based business should adapt for food quality control, food safety and hygiene management. These modern food safety and hygiene testing practices ensure that the food products are contamination-free and act in accordance with national and international food safety and  hygiene standards. Known to be one of the most trusted names in the food safety and hygiene industry, TÜV SÜD has been helping businesses with food safety and quality services including testing, auditing, training, certification and regulatory compliance. Find out more about our food safety and hygiene management services here.

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