Any food processing plant, including a commercial bakery, needs a quality sanitation program. Bakeries, along with fast food restaurants, have historically faced high employee turnover rates, so the organization and implementation of an easily understandable food sanitation program must be a number one priority.
In order to create a valid and workable bakery sanitation program, the following aspects should be addressed:
Management should never assume that any new employee knows the intricacies of proper sanitation. Thorough staff training is critical because a simple employee error or misconception can easily negate an important sanitation step. For example, a sanitizing chemical that has been improperly mixed with water to yield an ineffective concentration can allow a seemingly sanitized surface to become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
There are certain steps in every sanitation process. For example, rough food waste should be removed from any flat surface before sanitizer is applied. An inexperienced employee may try to clean rough particles from a table with sanitizer only; this process can be ineffective and ultimately dangerous. Again, proper training is a key element in any sanitation program, and all procedures should be carefully listed, recorded, and ultimately explained to each applicable employee. continue reading…
Although this blog tends to focus on topics of interest to the commercial food processing industry, the importance of food safety extends to anywhere food is handled, prepared, served, or enjoyed. For this reason, we will also address subjects like cooking meat to proper temperatures, foodborne illness prevention, and the importance of washing produce.
In this post, we discuss sanitation in homebrewing beer. Although non-commercial in nature, the principles of brewing (especially sanitation) are as essential for success here as they are anywhere else.
In fact, a number of commercial brewers got their start with homebrew as a hobby. Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware, started brewing his own beer before Dogfish Head opened in 1995. Although they were the first brewpub in Delaware and are now the 12th largest craft brewery in the U.S. based on sales volume, they started with “a system which essentially was three little kegs with propane burners underneath”.
Homebrewing – Image © 2010 Derek Wolfgram.
Whether you are mixing up sanitizer in your kitchen to sanitize a food-grade plastic bucket fermenter for a 5-gallon batch, or using an advanced brewery CIP system to sanitize 5,000-gallon stainless steel tanks, the success of your finished product relies heavily on proper cleaning and sanitation. continue reading…
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) signaled a shift in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approach to food safety from reactive to proactive. Signed in early 2011, the multi-faceted law covers changes in prevention standards, importation certifications, and verifications, state and federal integration, fees, reporting, and an expansion of inspections and compliance enforcement. Domestic food processors are likely to have been alerted to some inspection and compliance changes.
A major component of the changes under FSMA is the frequency of inspections and the addition of risk as a determinant of frequency. Registered facilities will be assessed as high-risk (HR) or non high-risk (NHR). Factors used to determine risk include past history of recalls, outbreaks, facility compliance, and inherent food risks. Under FSMA, HR facilities must be inspected within five years of the law’s passage and once every three years thereafter. NHR facilities must be inspected within seven years and every five years thereafter. continue reading…
Importance of Biocides
Biocides are used in the food industry to reduce the growth of bacteria and pathogens. Harmful organisms are destroyed or rendered harmless by biocides. Combating the spread of infectious disease is crucial in the food safety programs of any food processing company and the use of biocides has proven to be effective.
All too often food contamination scares arise that may have been avoided if proper cleansing of food preparation or processing areas had been adhered to. Salmonella is one of the organisms for which these plant sanitation chemicals are shown to be effective. continue reading…
Food safety compliance is growing in importance as food safety standards gain widespread acceptance worldwide. In order to provide safe food to customers, it is important for food processors to maintain compliance with certain sanitation standards.
As the food supply chain becomes increasingly globalized, food safety has become a global issue of great importance to consumers, governments, health administrations, and lawmakers. Customers are becoming more informed about food hygiene issues, expectations of food processing companies are raised. The role of quality control organizations and procedures such as HACCP are massively important to the compliance of any plant’s operations.
Being compliant with regulations in order to avoid heavy fines is an outdated and unhealthy way of managing plant sanitation. Fortunately, most firms have grown beyond this and insisted upon a culture of food safety in their organization. In pursuit of this goal, food safety companies are often brought in to audit their sanitation procedures and help sanitation managers improve food safety compliance.
Employees of restaurants, delis, catering companies, and others in the food industry must have a thorough knowledge of food hygiene. For this reason, these types of companies often insist their staff undergo a food hygiene course. This will help the employees develop their understanding of food safety principles, as well as apply the skills obtained from the course in their work.
These courses are both aimed at people who work in a role that involves contact with food materials and those in management. One goal of course participants is to bring about changes that will make their workplaces function more efficiently and avoid dangerous health hazards.
Food safety courses are available at a variety of levels, including foundation training, induction, refresher, and awareness. Some courses are focused on developing effective sanitation procedures and management, while others are more concerned with training sanitation workers to implement the procedures on the production floor.
Online, Classroom, and Onsite Food Safety Training
A number of courses are offered online as well as in classroom settings. Many colleges, technical schools, and training facilities across the country run food hygiene courses on a regular basis. The course material addresses topics such as food-borne diseases, contamination, pest control, and other food safety risks.
Participants are given information on cleaning and disinfecting, the importance of good personal hygiene, temperature and storage controls, and proper cooking temperatures. In addition to online and classroom instruction, many food sanitation companies are offering onsite food safety training.
These courses are developed with input from plant sanitation managers to ensure the coursework adequately covers their plant’s needs. Any good sanitation program includes an ongoing training program to promote a culture of food safety in your organization.