As a food manufacturer, you want your customers to get high-quality products. It would be detrimental to your business if you get a call from one of your customers complaining they experienced food poisoning after consuming your product. There is no denying that food businesses are at risk of this issue, as many factors can impact your products’ safety and quality, including contaminants.
Fortunately, you can prevent this by following appropriate food safety and quality standards. To meet high safety and quality standards, it is essential to understand that the various types of contaminants in our food can be due to minor lapses in the production process.
The contamination can happen in storage, preparation, packaging, or during transportation. Knowing this can help you take the appropriate measures for your products’ safety and quality. Below are a few of the essential steps to take.
- Follow Food Safety Standards And Regulations
Following relevant food and safety regulations and standards is imperative for your products’ quality. These regulations help provide guidelines necessary to protect the health of your customers.
For example, in the US, you must be aware of the food and drug administration’s (FDA) requirements for producing and selling food products. The federal agency provides national regulations. However, there may be local regulations you might need to follow too.
Other industry-specific standards can also provide specific guidelines. Familiarizing yourself with all these regulations can help you meet and maintain compliance requirements. As a result, you can have quality and safe products your customers can enjoy and trust.
- Have A Food Safety Management System
A robust food safety management system can give you a structured approach to identifying and controlling potential dangers to food safety. An example is the hazard and analysis critical control points (HACCP). It gives you a preventative approach to your production process. HACCP helps you identify critical areas where potential hazards may occur and the measures you can take to prevent or mitigate these hazards.
In simple terms, developing and implementing such a food safety management system helps address various food safety points. You can have an airtight process to conduct a hazard analysis, identify critical control points and establish monitoring procedures. The system also helps you develop control limits and implement corrective actions when necessary. All these can help avoid or minimize potential hazards and prevent the risk of foodborne illnesses and other food safety issues.
- Maintain Good Hygiene And Sanitation Practices
Good hygiene and sanitation practices are essential in a food manufacturing facility and can help prevent the spread of harmful microorganisms and cross-contamination. Some practices you can implement include encouraging hand washing and cleaning and sanitizing equipment and surfaces where food is prepared.
Your team forms an essential part of your hygiene and sanitation practices. Therefore, while encouraging handwashing is good, it best to give them further training on proper hygiene and sanitation. Doing so can equip them with relevant knowledge to practice and maintain set standards and operating procedures.
Safety and hygiene practices like handwashing, clean uniforms, and personal protective equipment should become second nature to your team. You can also conduct regular audits and ensure they always follow the set standards. By following these practices, you can prevent the risks of contaminants in your food products.
One primary practice for food equipment and surfaces is to clean and sanitize them before and after every use. It would be best if you also have a regular cleaning schedule. You can have a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule for deep cleaning. This helps keep all areas of your facility clean and sanitary.
- Ensure Proper Temperature Controls
Temperature control is crucial to food production. Without temperature control, harmful bacteria and other microorganisms can grow and multiply. Temperature-controlled areas can help you achieve the proper temperatures to preserve raw ingredients for your food products. These areas can include refrigerators and freezers. But having these temperature-controlled pieces of equipment entails procedures in monitoring the temperature.
It’s also best to have temperature controls during food production. This includes heating food to a specific temperature to kill harmful bacteria. It can also include cooling the food quickly to prevent growth. In short, the primary goal of temperature controls is to avoid the temperature danger zone.
- Use Approved Ingredients And Raw Materials
Approved ingredients and raw materials undergo regular testing processes. These procedures ensure they meet relevant safety and quality standards. Therefore, by using these ingredients, you can have high-quality and safe products to meet your customers’ expectations.
You can take several steps to achieve this. First, you can conduct background checks on your suppliers to verify that they meet regulations and standards. It’s also best to evaluate the quality of ingredients and raw materials before production. You can test it for contaminants or conduct other quality checks.
In addition to these two steps, a regular and continuous testing and evaluation schedule would also be helpful. This schedule can help monitor the quality of ingredients and raw materials and ensure they meet set parameters. If quality issues arise, it is crucial to address them quickly so they will not affect your food quality and put your business at risk.
You play a critical role in ensuring the safety and quality of the products for your food manufacturing business. By following the above guidelines, you can produce safe products for consumption and also meet the high standards your customers expect. Your efforts can help protect your customers’ health and build your company’s reputation. Therefore, it is important to take all the necessary measures to ensure food safety.