For companies operating in the food industry, it’s crucial to protect the health and safety of the consumers by ensuring the products are made in a hygienic and safe environment. Contamination may occur if they’re not made, handled, and stored correctly. When this happens, consumers are at risk of developing foodborne diseases, such as diarrhea, hepatitis, and salmonella.
For this reason, implementing food safety and sanitation standards can be essential for any food business. They can help ensure that all food products are safe from contamination and other safety hazards that can harm one’s health.
So, if you’re running a food company, below are the seven food safety standards you should implement from the get-go:
1. Observe Food Safety During Handling, Storage, And Transport
When running a food business, proper handling, storage, and transport are necessary to ensure your products are free from contamination. Hence, it’s best if your company follows some food safety practices.
For example, using x-ray machines for food inspection can be a good idea when handling and preparing your products for transport. This equipment can detect various contaminants, such as bone fragments, glass, metal, stones, and plastics. Consequently, you can verify the safety of your products before they’re sold to the market.
Another food safety standard to keep in mind when handling, storing and transporting food products is to regulate the temperature. This means keeping the hot or cold food at the right temperature to avoid the risk of deterioration. If you’re selling fresh food products, you need an insulated and refrigerated van for safe transportation. It can help increase the shelf life of your products to reduce the risk of food poisoning and unnecessary wastage.
2. Clean Regularly
Regular cleaning can be necessary to keep your food products safe. It can minimize the risk of food contamination. So to get the most out of cleaning, it’s essential to keep the following things in mind:
- Clean and disinfect equipment and surfaces to avoid harmful bacteria from spreading to your food products.
- Set a cleaning schedule and procedure outlining what needs to be cleaned and disinfected, when the cleaning should be conducted, and how the cleaning should be done.
- Implement a clean-as-you-go (CAYGO) policy for your employees in the company.
Indeed, cleaning your equipment and surfaces can be crucial in maintaining a hygienic environment for your food products. Doing so can eliminate the harmful bacteria that affect your food’s safety.
3. Implement Proper Waste Management
Besides cleaning regularly, it’s essential to consider proper waste management to help your premises stay clean, healthy, and safe. It can also help mitigate the possibility of contamination of your food products. Thus, to make sure your wastes are handled properly, you should do the following:
- Provide appropriate containers for wastes to avoid accumulation, causing pest infestation.
- Label the containers with proper signage to help employees determine which kind of waste should go.
- Work with the appropriate waste disposal company in your area to help you get rid of the trash properly.
Proper waste management can be crucial in keeping your premises clean and safe. When you have a clean working environment, you can guarantee food safety throughout your food processing stages.
4. Perform Regular Maintenance For Food Equipment
Besides cleaning, it’s also essential to regularly maintain your food processing equipment. In this case, it’s best to hire a maintenance team to inspect your equipment regularly and ensure it functions correctly. The professionals should look for any signs of wear and tear or damage caused by pests that could contaminate your food products.
Moreover, your maintenance team will repair damaged equipment to avoid pest infestation and other hazards. They’ll also inspect your premises to address any issues that could affect the safety of your food products.
5. Conduct Safety Measures To Control Pests
Depending on the location of your food business, pests, such as birds, insects, and rodents, may easily infiltrate your premises. This is especially true if there are no proper safety measures in place. When this happens, pests may contaminate your food products, causing serious foodborne illnesses to consumers and reputational damage to your company.
To avoid this situation, you should conduct pest control by inspecting, cleaning, and sealing your premises to prevent pest infestation.
6. Maintain Good Personal Hygiene Practices For Employees
Your employees play an integral part in your food business. As such, they also need to maintain a good standard of personal hygiene to keep the products safe from manufacturing to delivery. Since harmful bacteria are quickly transmitted through contamination, you should provide adequate cleaning facilities, such as handwashing stations, to keep them clean at all times.
Also, you should ensure your employees wear proper clothing, cover their hair with a hairnet, and wash and disinfect their hands. By doing all these things, you can avoid the risk of food contamination.
7. Organize A Food Safety Training
Organizing proper food safety training for employees is vital for your food company. Conducting this training has several benefits, including protecting your customers from potential health risks such as food poisoning and allergies. It can also ensure that your company complies with your area’s food safety laws and regulations.
Therefore, provide food safety training to your employees. Ensure they understand and follow the proper food preparation and handling procedures, quality-control standards, food storage, personal hygiene, waste disposal, and pest control.
Running a food company has its share of challenges. Besides achieving high profits, it’s vital to maintain food safety to keep your customers satisfied. In effect, this may result in more profits. Hence, if you want your food business to thrive, keep the information mentioned above in mind so you’ll know what safety standards to implement in your company.