Food safety is a major concern in the food industry, with statistics estimating that every year, one in six Americans gets sick from contaminated food and beverages, and 3,000 die from foodborne illnesses. Its primary objective is safeguarding consumers from food consumption-related injuries or foodborne diseases. Food safety is key to maintaining a food company’s reputation.
Failure to implement food safety practices can result in contaminated food products finding their way to the market. In case defective products are caught, food recalls may be announced, leading to significant losses for food businesses and the risk of product recalls, which can be quite costly. Outlined below are four tips for food companies for food safety.
1. Invest in X-ray inspection systems
Food manufacturers should ascertain that their products are consumer-safe. Nevertheless, manually checking large food quantities that go through the packaging system isn’t easy. Additionally, human workers are prone to errors, increasing the risk of foreign objects slipping through. This is where X-ray inspection systems come in. They can detect different foreign objects in food packaging, such as:
- Hard plastics
Once X-ray inspection systems identify contaminated food products, manufacturers can discard them automatically. You can find top-quality, advanced X-ray systems from trusted providers like TDI Packsys for improved food quality and safety.
2. Implement food quality control systems
Food quality control includes the measures food companies take to ascertain food products attain specific standards for food safety management. It’s crucial in helping ensure substandard or unsafe food products aren’t distributed or sold. This safeguards consumers from health threats like foodborne illnesses while maintaining consumer confidence in food quality and safety.
In addition, food quality control helps ascertain food items are labeled correctly, which is vital for those with potentially dangerous allergies or particular dietary needs. It may involve various testing methods like:
- Visual inspection
- Sensory evaluation
- Laboratory analysis
Implementing stringent food quality control measures leads to safer food products, improved brand reputation, and higher consumer protection.
3. Adhere to hygiene standards
Food hygiene involves the practices set by food manufacturing businesses to lower biological food threats. It includes using clean and safe processes, facilities, and operations when handling food production, handling, and processing. Some of the standards that food companies must adhere to for excellent food hygiene include:
- Personal cleanliness and hygiene
- Proper food handling
- Sanitation and cleaning activities
- Preventing cross-contamination
- Ensuring proper inventory rotation
- Separating cooked and raw materials
- Implementing adequate waste management practices
4. Conduct food safety audits
Food safety auditing systematically evaluates food safety records, procedures, and practices. They can be conducted by regulatory agencies and external/internal auditors qualified to assess food safety systems based on their goals. Food safety audits help ensure food product quality and safety. They offer multiple benefits, including:
- Regulatory compliance: These audits help ensure food companies remain compliant with the relevant standards and regulations instituted by food safety authorities
- Consumer safety: When audits assess and verify compliance with food safety standards, they help detect potential hazards, improvement areas, and control points, reducing the risk of foodborne diseases
Food safety audits should cover food safety parts like:
- Food storage
- Food safety management system
- Facility design
- Food preparation
- Food storage
- Cleaning and sanitation
- Employee hygiene
- Waste management
In conclusion, food safety is an essential aspect of the food industry that cannot be overlooked. The four tips outlined in this article serve as foundational practices that food companies can adopt to maintain high standards of food safety. By prioritizing these areas, businesses not only protect their consumers from foodborne illnesses but also bolster their reputation and ensure compliance with regulatory standards. Ultimately, a commitment to food safety is a commitment to quality, consumer trust, and the long-term success of the food industry. Companies are encouraged to continuously review and improve their food safety practices to address evolving challenges and new regulatory requirements. This proactive approach will help in fostering a safer food supply chain, benefiting consumers, businesses, and the entire food ecosystem.