Food safety is a top priority for every organization that makes food available to consumers. As the global population embraces a more-balanced diet and an increasing percentage of people are living in urban areas, the risk of foodborne illness has increased.
To keep pace with this demand, modern-day chefs must-have skills that put their customers first. To ensure our customers have access to high-quality products and foods with safely tested profiles, we’ve joined together on 22 February 2022 to highlight what we do to protect our planet and its inhabitants from dangerous bacteria, viruses and other forms of ‘food crime’.
We know it can sometimes feel like there’s no end to the number of threats facing food safety—but with your help, we can work towards keeping our food safe in 2022, too. Read on to learn about some of the latest advancements in food safety research and best practices for making sure your customers get what they’re ordering at home and around the world today — even if you don’t know where it came from!
What is Food Safety?
There are many ways to protect your customers from harmful bacteria, viruses and other pathogens in food. These can include good manufacturing practices, safe food handling, and effective label reading. To be food-safe, your organization must adhere to all of the recommendations in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food safety guidelines.
These guidelines cover a wide range of practices, including having effective food handling practices; keeping raw materials, foods and ingredients properly thermally sterilized; and ensuring that all food service operations are properly registered with the USDA.
These practices can also include: requiring employees to sign a food safety agreement; requiring that all foods serve as a positive role model for healthy eating; and using hygienic equipment and utensils when preparing foods.
To ensure your customers get safe, high-quality foods with tested profiles at all times, your organization must have effective food safety practices in place. These include:
Effective Food Handler Program (HHP) training –HHP is a key program within an organization that teaches employees how to safely prepare food while adhering to all food safety requirements.
Andean Butterfly Farms – This is a Peruvian food startup that uses local ingredients to create meals with a sustainable and ethical approach to food production.
Beyond Meat – This is a plant-based meat substitute that is created with food safety in mind.
Black Baby Food – This is a brand that uses organic ingredients to create high-quality baby food.
Cici’s Kids – This is a brand that uses natural ingredients to create high-quality snacks for kids.
EcoBoost – This is a wearable tech that tracks food intake, conversions, and the carbon footprint of meals.
Greenland Fish Company – This is a Danish company that uses sustainable food production practices to supply sustainable fish to restaurants and retailers.
HealthyKids – This is a brand that uses natural ingredients and healthy eating habits to develop healthy bodies and minds.
LivWell – This is a brand that uses natural ingredients to create healthy, delicious food for the whole family.
How to Keep Your Customers Safe
To ensure your customers have safe, high-quality foods with tested profiles, you need to follow food safety procedures at every stage of the production process. These procedures ensure safe, healthy eating at every stage of life. There are many ways to keep your customers safe.
These include: Ensuring that all food service operations are properly registered with the USDA – Food service operations are the largest contact between food and people. Proper registration with the USDA allows you to ensure your operation is not just complying with food safety regulations but is also listed as a “cherished friend” with the government body.
Keeping raw materials, foods and ingredients properly thermally sterilized – This is the first phase of food safety and ensures your customers get safe food even after it is cooked. Prevent cross-contamination among foods by using separate dishes, utensils and hands when preparing and handling foods. Use cooking fluids made from natural and/or renewable resources and foodstuffs that have been organically grown.
Staying up-to-date on food safety regulations – These regulations affect what can be sold in stores and what foods can be served in restaurants. Make sure you are aware of the latest food safety regulations and best practices for your region or city.
The Importance of Culture Change
Culture change is key to success in food safety. This is the process of making a change that results in a different set of values and behaviours. Cultures isolated for prolonged periods of time often adopt new dietary habits that are often at odds with the traditional diet. In many parts of the world, it is difficult or impossible to change dietary habits in a short amount of time. However, it is possible to integrate sustainable, healthy eating practices into an existing culture.
Benefits of Good Food Safety Practices
Keeping food and beverage products safe and healthy boosts customer satisfaction boosts employee morale and provides a more favorable working environment. Keeps product lines fresh and relevant. New products are developed to meet customer demands and needs. Modern-day chefs must-have skills that put their customers first. Improves customer and employee retention.
The happier customers are, the more likely they are to return. The happier employees are, the more likely they are to stick with the company for a long time. Keeps products competitive. New products and services keep businesses from getting stuck with old, less-profitable lines. A healthy sense of competition is necessary to keep businesses from sloughing off costs and going under.
Bacteria, Viruses and Other Pathogens in Food
There are many reasons food is unsafe to eat. Bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens can also be found in food, so it’s important to keep these factors in mind when discussing risks associated with these types of bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
Salmonella – The most common bacterial cause of foodborne illness, Salmonella infections can occur from contaminated raw agricultural products like seams, sleeves, collars and cuffs. Wash your hands often and use proper hand hygiene practices when handling food.
E. coli – E. coli can occur naturally in certain foods like meat, vegetables and dairy products. It can also occur in some processed foods like soups and salads.
Shiga Toxus – This is aflatoxin, a man-made bacterial toxin that is found in grains and other plants. It can occur naturally in certain plants and can also be produced during food production.
Cholera – Cholera is a contagious bacterial infection that can be contracted by consuming contaminated water or food. It is spread by contact with contaminated faeces.
Gram-Positive Bacteria – These are the same types of bacteria found in the human and animal guts. They can cause diarrhoea and stomach cramps.
Strep Throat – Strep throat is a bacterial infection that can occur naturally in certain animals like chickens or cows. It can also be contacted by people through contact with an infected animal.
What You Can Do to Keep Your Customerssafe
Keep your employees healthy – High-quality nutrition and HHP training are essential for restaurant employees to function optimally.
Keep your refrigerators and freezers full and your supply chains clean – Bacteria and other pathogens can contaminate fruits, vegetables and other fresh produce at every stage of its journey. Ensure your fresh produce is prepared properly and packed at each step of the supply chain.
Wash your hands often – Bacteria and other pathogens can spread easily when hands are not properly washed. Wash your hands with soap and water after handling food, flipping burgers, doing KP duty or changing diapers.
Don’t let food go to waste – Re-use, compost and/or throw your food away when you’re not hungry anymorehepls to need. This will help you stay healthy and save money in the long run.
The future of food is promising. The availability of nutritious, healthy food in convenient, hygienic packages has made eating a part of everyday life for many people around the world. As technology develops and becomes more accessible, it is important for consumers to be well-informed about the safety of food and the technologies used to make it. One way to ensure the safety of your products is to involve your customers in the decision-making process. If they are able to discuss issues with you about food safety, they are much help to need.
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