Food Safety & Quality

Food safety is one of the most crucial factor in food industry.

Mater of fact is that many food safety training initiatives are making very little difference to un-organized food vendors which are 80 percent of FBO (food buisness organization) segment. As most of the  training is for a premium/ organised sectors only. These basic information should be imparted free of cost.

There must be grass root level teachers or supervisors, who should be assigned particular area to impart food safety trainings. Mainly to street vendors. If we can share below three points, half the battle is won in India, against food poisoning and contamination.

Selection of training topic is very important to improve food safety overall.

Among all, following three topics must be taken seriously

1. Contamination & Cross contamination

2. Role of temperature in food cooking and storage

3. Personal Hygiene

Contamination of Food

Every one should know that food gets contaminated only by three types.

a) Physical – (dust, hair, pin, fly, any foreign object)— Control is by covering all food items

b) Chemical — (pesticide from vegetables, cleaning chemical of utensils, any accidental spillage of chemical)–Control is proper washing of vegetables and keeping food away from chemicals. All chemical should be kept under lock and with proper label. Keeping MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) available is desirable and must also.

c) Microbial – {under cooking, not sanitizing salads, unhygienic condition, keeping food in danger zone (5 deg C – 63 deg C)} – Control is cooking food at right temperature and keeping food out of danger zone.

Cross Contamination

Many people gets confused with contamination and cross contamination.

Cross contamination is transfer of bacteria from one place to another. That’s it. This can happen when one uses same chopping board or knife for veg and Non -Veg. or if one keeps Non veg food above veg food in chiller.

Does wearing gloves means food safety?

No, many people wear gloves for the sake of wearing and do not really follow the right procedure. Wearing gloves does not make ones hand germ free . Ironically that is how many people in industry behaves.

Please find attached Food Safety Booklet for reference, this is having basic information on Food Safety given by FSSAI for food handlers.

Food allergen

10 years back it was a very rare thing to listen in India. Now a days the word food allergy is very common in our friend circle.

Technically -Food allergy is an immunological based response causing cutaneous, gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms.

In layman language any particular food is not suitable to the body and body reacts to it. In way of sneezing, itching or giving rashes on skin.

Thus is it very critical to inform guest and customer for the ingredients added in food or ask guest or customer to specify bif they have any allergy to any ingredients.

Steps to ensure allergen handling

Restaurant staff should be aware of all food allergen.

Proper segregation of all allergen from other food material must be ensured.

Sharing of food, containers and utensils should not be allowed.

Necessary steps to be taken to prevent cross contamination.

Allergen warning should be displayed prominently everywhere and in menu as well.

Staff should be encouraged to wash hands frequently. Hand washing is often neglected, as is very critical for food safety and hygiene.

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