Food processing is a very delicate and critical industry. Obviously, every human being has to eat to live. The food we eat has to be completely safe if we have to prevent disease and ensure that the food delivers its right, optimal nutrients to the body. Towards making sure that this is done, there has to be a sound sanitation program for food processing.
The Aim of enhancing the quality of food
The fact is, cleaner the environment of the facility in which food is prepared; the better and more effective is its ability to enhance nutrition. Food facilities have to thus put in place a proper sanitation program for food processing. The essential aim of such a program should be to make sure that there are no hazards in the food facility, which could impact not only the end consumers of food in the facility, but the workers working there, too.
Common sense is the key of a sanitation program for food processing
The basic elements of a sanitation program for food processing should be built on common sense. The facility should have the intuition to avert dangers that could consciously or unconsciously creep into it. This is made possible by adapting an open-minded approach in which challenges are dealt with as they arise.
General level practices
Yet, the peculiarities and individual aspects of a facility notwithstanding; there are a few core elements of a sanitation program for food processing. These can be said to be those at a general level:
- All the environmental issues of the particular food manufacturing facility have to be assessed
- Sanitation practices have to be consistently monitored and improved continuously
- Procedures relating to thorough sanitation have to be applied properly on a day-to-day basis
- These processes and procedures have to be verified on a regular basis.
At the micro level
At a more intimate level, the food facility has to take effective steps at implementing sanitation program for food processing. these are spelt out in detail in cGMPs for Manufacturing, Packing or Holding Human Food, which is part of the section “Personnel” of 21 CFR Part 110:10.
These are some of the basic requirements on implementing sanitation program for food processing:
- Personal hygiene of employees working in food facilities has to be ensured
- Their clothing has to be clean
- They should wear caps and cover their beards
- They should use napkins if having a runny nose or if there are other body fluids and secretions
- Sick employees or those suffering from any communicable problems should be prevented from coming to work till they recover fully
- Employees should ensure that their nails are clipped and are free of dirt
- They should not be allowed to smoke while working or even otherwise within the facility
- The environment has to be fully hygienic. It should be free of rodents, dust, aerosol and any other such pollutant or hazard
- Employees working in food facilities involving poultry and other kinds of farms have to follow strict rules with regard to the shoes they wear
- The onus is on management towards implementing a proper sanitation program for food processing.