What is Food Safety Management and Why Do We Need It?
31 May 2017, by Helenzys Team
Food Safety and Hygiene becomes an emerging demand in the food industry and is a universal concern. Therefore, maintaining food safety & hygiene is a compelling requisite for food entrepreneurs to sustain in today’s competitive market.
The International Organization for Standardization created ISO 22000 standard to manage food safety and security and specifies the essentials for a food safety management system that involves:
- Interactive communication
- System management
- Prerequisite programs
- HACCP principles
The food safety management system identifies, evaluates, and controls food hazards, at all levels of the food supply chain; be it during ingredient supply, food preparation, packaging, storage, transportation, etc.
Why is Food Safety Management Imperative?
- Food safety and hygiene are crucial to reducing the risk of food-borne illnesses that may cause through biological hazards such as pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and parasites, or chemical hazards or natural toxins.
- If the food safety guidelines are not followed precisely, people can fall sick and may even lead to death.
- If the food is improperly stored, handled, cooked, or refrigerated, bacteria can grow leading to food contamination.
- At times, there would be issues like product recall, where seller may request consumers to return a product after the discovery of any product defects or safety issues that might endanger the consumer or put the seller at risk of legal action
Hence, complying food safety guidelines is essential to maintain the quality as well as the shelf life of the food products.
How does Food Safety Management System help?
An effective food safety management system that is based on seven principles of HACCP can help businesses to identify and control hazards before they threaten the safety of your food and customers.
Here are the seven principles of HACCP:
Hazard Analysis is a preventive approach to food safety, which identifies biological, chemical, and physical hazards in the production process that may lead to an unsafe finished product and defines controls to reduce these uncertainties to a safe level.
Critical Control Point (CCP)
The points that can be applied at stages of the process to eliminate or reduce the hazards to an acceptable (critical) level. Say, for example, if rice is cooled too slowly, it may result in food poisoning. Here, cooling is the critical control point.
The safety limits that determines a maximum and minimum value for each CCP. It separates the acceptable (safe) product from the unacceptable (unsafe) product. Critical limits can be monitored by measurement or observation. Example – Time, Temperature, Chemical, etc.
Monitoring procedures include observations or measurements to assess whether the CCP is being met. And that appropriate steps are being followed to ensure food safety.
The actions that need to take if there is any deviation from the established critical limit. Corrective actions ensures that the products are not injurious to health or otherwise adulterated as a result of the deviation enter commerce
The important aspect of verification is to determine that the food safety management plan is properly implemented and all the hazards were identified. Verification monitors whether the plan & guidelines are functioning as designed and are effective.
Record Keeping & Documentation
Record Keeping & Documentation contains complete records & forms to show that checks have been carried out at appropriate intervals in line with the Food Safety Policy. The food industries can be audit ready by following the appropriate documentation & record keeping procedures.
The food hygiene and safety management software solution like ionhaccp will help food industries to handle, store, and sell safe food to customers while ensuring compliance with the necessary standards like Safe Quality Food (SQF) initiative, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), and ISO 22000.