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Food safety describes the manner in which food is to be handled, prepared and stored so that one can be protected against foodborne illness. It comprises of numerous routines that need to be taken care in order to avoid health hazards (Motarjemi and Lelieveld, 2013). Food safety consideration covers source of food that involves the practice related to food hygiene, food labeling, pesticide residues and food additives etc. The present report entails to understand the agents that cause food-borne illness and contamination of food. Further, it includes the processes that can prevent food spoilage and preserve food quality. The study also covers the importance of effective prevention systems in controlling food contamination. Lastly, control management system is developed.
There are various controls available to prevent food contamination. This can be done by preventing physical and chemical contamination of food. Further, it can be carried out by implementing measures that can control food-borne diseases (Brimer, 2011). Prevention of physical and chemical contamination can be done in the following manner. Physical contamination is visible and includes plastics, stone, glass fragments and other material in food. This can be prevented by adopting certain measures. The food products such as raw meat, sea food and poultry articles should be put in different sections that is away from each other while procuring and amassing them at home (Felix D'Mello, 2003). In order to prevent from physical contamination it should be kept in air tight containers. Further, hand washing is another control measure that can prevent physical contamination of food. Thus, before handling the food article it is necessary to ensure hands are clean. However, in chemical contamination is referred to as presence of unwanted substances that makes food unfit for consumption (Chemical contamination, 2014). It is required that food must be kept far from the chemicals. Moreover, at place where food articles are kept, insect killing sprays must not be used rather than electronic killers should be employed.
Food borne diseases are caused due to consumption of contaminated food. In order to prevent food borne diseases the following measures needs to be employed:
Proper hand washing: In order to prevent both food contamination and related diseases, it is important to wash hands before handling, preparing or storing food article. It should be done in proper manner with water and soap (Knechtges, 2011). Moreover, it is essential to clean hands after coming in contact with pets, floor objects or household cleaners. Likewise it should be done after touching meat, fish and poultry.
Keeping the storage areas clean: The areas including cupboard as well as refrigerators where food articles are kept must be dirt free. Proper air tight containers must be used for the purpose of storing dry food articles. This is because it is critical to prevent food stuff from rodents and infectious insects etc. In addition to this, the utensils in which the food is prepared and stored must be kept clean in advance, so as prevent food contamination that may result in causing food borne diseases.
Use of pick up bags: In order to prevent contamination of food, it is critical to make use of pick up bags while making purchase of food articles (Rees and Watson, 2000). This will prevent the exposure of food to infectious surfaces.
Food items separation: It is essential that raw meat, poultry products and fish must be kept separately while storing, purchasing or handling them. The food items that are raw needs to be placed at the shelves present at the bottom of refrigerators.
The actions of microbes that include yeasts, moulds and bacteria etc are responsible for food contamination. These sources of food contamination can be enumerated below:
Yeasts: This causes damage to food by fermentation. Yeasts are categorized into two. This includes true yeast and false yeast. Both these yeasts cause damage to food. The basis of true yeast is metabolization of sugar (Redman, 2007). This results in creation of alcohol as well as carbon dioxide. False yeasts spoil the food by developing dry film on its exterior.
Moulds: Moulds form tough mass that is visible as mould growth which contaminates the food. The spoilage of food articles such as jellies and pickles etc is done by moulds. Further by consuming this it can cause vomiting (10 facts on food safety, 2009). With this the taste and smell of the food gets spoiled.
Bacteria: There are various situations that results in creation of bacteria within food. The B category of bacteria originates on low acid food articles such as vegetables and meat. They are considered to be the most dangerous as it causes food poisoning. This also results in creating infection in intestine. Another category of bacteria is E type. This bacterium grows in unhygienic condition which is the major cause of food borne diseases (Sprenger, 2008). By consuming food that has been spoiled by Campylobacter can cause Diarrhea as well as abdominal pain. Further with the consumption of bacteria such as Erwinia carotovora infection can be caused.
Enzymatic activity: Certain enzymes in the form of protein exits in plants and animals. Such type of enzymes may result in changing the food texture, color and flavor. It occurs when fresh food is not consumed.
The major cause of food poisoning is presence of virus, bacteria and other toxins on food articles. These sources spoil the food items. This happens when food is not handled and prepared in appropriate way. Food borne diseases are caused due to consumption of food stuff that is contaminated by micro organism (Azu and Kim, 2006). Clostridium botulinums as well as Staphylococcus aureus are type of bacterial toxins that can cause food poisoning. With the consumption toxins the biological reaction carried out in the body gets affected which further results in causing food poisoning. On the other hand, the infection caused by microbes within the eatables leads to invasion and harm to epithelial cells. Certain types of micro organisms are transmitted through food products. This may act as a major cause for food borne illness that occurs due to infection and intoxications.
Food preservation is the procedure of handling and treating the food which results in minimizing its spoilage. It is done to prevent the food from the growth of bacteria, fungi, yeasts and other micro organisms. There are different methods that can be used for the purpose of preserving food. These are enumerated below:
Freezing: When food is freezed, then the amount of deterioration caused to it reduces. The actions of the bacterium get lowers down with refrigeration. However ,with freezing the overall actions is stopped (The 5 best ways to preserve food, 2014). The common method of blanching can be used for destroying the enzymes and microorganisms. In order to limit activity of enzymes herbs can be mixed with fruit with sugar sprinkled on it.
Heating: For the purpose of preserving the food, the method of boiling and belching the food article at high temperature can be used. This destroys enzyme activity as well as microorganisms present in the food article (Cunha and et.al., 2010). In case, when food stuffs are more acidic in nature then it becomes easy to demolish microorganism. Boiled food can be kept in air tight containers to extend their life.
Use of strong concentration: The high concentrations such as alcohol, salt, acid and sugar develop environment that leads to destruction of the entire microorganism existing in the food. The fruit that is acidic in nature can be preserved in the concentrated sugar solutions and alcohol. Alkaline vegetables can be conserved in salt solution or acidic vinegar or even in combination of both.
Removing moisture: The major agent that develops microorganism is moisture. However in dry condition they die off. The moisture can be drawn from the food by drying it with the assistance of warm air or oven (Humphrey, O'Brien and Madsen, 2007). This can also be done by putting the food article in concentrated solution of salt or sugar in air tight containers.
Method of excluding air: In order to prevent the contact of microorganism with that of food seal of fat and oil can be used. By heating the containers, the shelf life can be extended so as to preserve the food without contaminating it.
Fermenting: Under this method, the growth of good bugs is encouraged, so as to inhibit the bad bugs that can contaminate the food. This technique can be used with number of foods such as fruits, meat, sea food, legumes, dairy, eggs, grains and vegetables.
The above methods are effective in destroying the bacteria and microorganism that can contaminate the food (Hernandez, 2000). By freezing the growth the bacteria can be stopped. Moreover ,by the heating the enzyme activity can be minimized to greater extend. The method of using strong concentration is effective in destroying the microbes without affecting the quality if the food stuff.
There are various methods for safe storage of food. This includes techniques such as canning, freezing, drying, curing, sealing etc. In the method of canning, heating of product is done at specified temperature for particular duration of time. This process is known as pasteurizing. After this the pasteurized product is sealed in special jars designed for this purpose. This method can be used for storing fruits vegetables, seafood and meat in safe manner. Another most commonly used method is freezing (Knight, Worosz and Todd, 2007). Under this foods are chilled at least 0 degree Fahrenheit. This method can be easily done if related appliances are affordable. The technique of drying can be used for the process of storing the food in safe manner. In this method, the food is dehydrated till the time all the moisture within the food gets evaporated. It can be used to preserve variety of food stuff such as vegetables, food grains, nuts and seafood etc. In modern time method of curing is mostly used for the purpose of preserving meat and fish. It makes use of salt, acid and nitrates which minimize the impact of microorganism and makes food safer to be consumed for longer period of time. Sealing is the traditional method that is mostly used to keep eatables safely (Manning and Soon, 2013). Under this the food articles are kept air tight containers. This delays the activity of microorganism of spoiling the food. It is complementary process that it used with other methods such as freezing and drying.
Temperature control system deals with controlling the warmness and coldness of food stuff, so as to protect them against spoilage. By controlling temperature , the conservation of the eatables for longer time period can be ensured. In order to preserve meat and desserts freezing can be done (Lee and Lee, 2014). Temperature of 41 degree Fahrenheit or less than that has to be maintained in case when food stuffs are to be preserved through cooling. Another method used for preserving raw meat is defrosting. By preservation in freezer certain scales get developed which makes it difficult to cook the food stuff. Through defrosting such scales are removed. Further, it makes food readily available to be cooked.
Personal hygiene plays imperative role in controlling contamination of food. It is concerned with cleaning the hands as well as body prior to handling or storing eatables. By washing the hands in appropriate manner before preparing the food the chances of its spoilage can be minimized. This is because by cleaning, the microbes existing on hands and body an individual engaged in preparing food can be removed (McCarthy, 2006). Personal hygiene includes wearing hygienic clothes while cooking the food stuff. The clothes containing dirt reflects the existence of certain types of microbes as well as pathogens that gets transmitted to hands and further spoils the food. This results in food contamination. It is essential for an individual to take into consideration the personal hygiene factors as their role is greater in contaminating the food stuff. This can be minimized by washing the hands at times while getting into contact with dirty objects.
Cleaning and disinfection act as a process that supports safe food production. With the assistance of certain chemicals the process of cleaning and disinfection can be carried out effectively. Through this cleanliness of the utensils used for food production process can be ensured (Motarjemi, 2014). Thus, it prevents food from being contaminated. The chemicals such as hypochlorite and chlorine dioxide can be used effectively for the purpose preventing food article for spoilage. This is because it reduces the activity of microbial which protects the contamination of food. In the procedure of disinfection chemical such as idophor can be used as it destructs the cell wall of microbes which result in causing further destruction of microorganism. Hence it leads to safe food production.
Pest control is significant as pests contain bacteria that are harmful and can spoil the food which may further result in illness. Serious damage can be caused by the pest to the fabric and structure of the food. There are certain problems associated with pest control. The major source through which the pest enters is holes and opens gaps (Nesbitt and et.al., 2009). Further ,the pests are exerted towards the places that are warm as it provides protection to them. This act as hindrance while performing the control activity. Chemical sprays can be used to control the pest but the major issue with this is that its droplets may destruct the food articles.
It is very essential to ensure appropriate hygienic design at food premises. Due of the danger of food poisoning, contamination and products there has been increase in the need for reliable hygiene designs that has to be implemented at food premises. This is needed in order to limit the entry of pests, rodents as well as pests (Hygienic Design, 2014). Further with the assistance of hygienic design food can be prevented from being contaminated. Moreover, it is required for the purpose of keeping floor, ceilings and woodworks clean. This would further ensure production of food that is free from germs. With the existence of processing tools and equipment the requirement of hygienic design occurs. The storage system should be kept closed so that it does not lead in contamination of food.
Food hygiene training is essential for the purpose of minimizing the contamination of food at restaurants. This is because with the assistance of training quality of food article can be assured. Further by providing training the skills of employees regarding the method that can be used to prevent food (Redmond, 2004). By adopting the guidelines that are being taught in training sessions workers can ensure that food is handled safely and its quality is maintained. Through this personal hygiene factors that are to be taken care of can also be provided to them.
Guidance document for sea food restaurant that includes food hazard risk management, food safety control system and food safety guide is as follows:
It is very essential for every restaurant to ensure that the food that is being served does not harm the customers. There are certain hazards in relation to food especially in case of sea food restaurant. These risks are as under:
There is presence of certain objects such as bone chips as well as animal hair within sea food animals including fish. This can cause major risk to customers. Further, this can be increased when proper cleaning of the sea food is not carried out (Sadler and Gatenby, 2001). Thus, such objects remain in the sea food which can harm to customers.
Sea food possesses greater risk of getting spoiled through growth of microorganism. This further results in causing risk attached with contamination (Rees and Watson, 2000). Considering this, if sea food such as prawns and fish are not stored with due care, then they can be serious risk for customers of the restaurant.
Another risk originates when in case sea food articles remains uncooked. This can cause major health hazard for consumers.
In order to protect customers from food hazard risk attached with sea food certain safety control systems can be used. These systems are enumerated below:
It should be ensured that proper hygiene factors at the food premises are taken care, so that there is no entry of insects and rodents at the place (Wallace, 2014). The utensils that are used for the purpose of handling and preparing food must be kept clean so that risk related to food contamination can be removed.
Adequate training in relation to the food safety regulation and handling procedure needs to be provided to employees of sea food restaurant ,so that they can take into consideration the hygienic factor while preparing and storing the food.
The risk of the customers can be controlled when the employees are carefully monitored by their superiors, so that hygienic standards can be followed at the food premises (Yabanci and Sanlier, 2007).
There are various legal requirements that are forced by government for the purpose of ensuring food safety of customers visiting sea food restaurant. This includes:
Food labeling regulations 1996: The act has been made mandatory for the businesses which are involved in food production. It has been provided that necessary information related to the food should be provided on labels (Brimer, 2011).
Food Safety Act 1990: This act is enforced by UK government on the restaurant ,so that they comply with the quality standards while preparing the food. The act also states that restaurant is required to handle and store food with safety. Moreover ,proper hygienic practices must be followed at workplace.
It can be concluded from the study that it is important to adopt control measures such as cleaning hands, keeping storage area clean etc. in order to remove contamination of food stuff. Further, it has been inferred that food borne diseases can be controlled only when factors of personal hygiene and food safety are taken care. The methods such as drying, canning, fermenting can be used effectively for the purpose of preserving food. It is critical to offer proper training to employees at food premises ,so that standards of food safety can be incorporated into practice.
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