What is food safety?
The terms “food safety,” “food poisoning,” and “foodborne illness” are quite frequently referred to by many individuals during day-to-day conversation, news reports, and scientific studies, but what does the term food safety mean for food or beverage companies, government agencies, and scientific or academic communities? In the professional or formal sense, food safety involves the prevention of foodborne diseases, threats, and illnesses through the proper handling, preparation, and storage of food products and ingredients. Ensuring the safety of food products is important for many different reasons and to variety of different individuals, organizations, and communities.
Why is food safety important?
Food safety is important in preventing foodborne diseases, sicknesses, threats, and illnesses. It ensures that society receives a proper, nutritious, and healthy food supply for regular consumption. It also creates and maintains a standard for food consumption that ensures quality food products are delivered to consumers in our communities and society.
Who needs to know about food safety?
Consumers of food products need to know about food safety, but even more importantly, the providers of those foods need to know about it.
Consumers & Food Safety
Consumers need to know about food safety to ensure their own and their family’s personal health and nutrition. Consumers should practice good habits that promote clean, fresh, and nutritious foods in order to maintain and enhance their health. This can include properly washing food after purchasing it from the supermarket, storing food in appropriate containers and locations, preparing or cooking food properly and according to given instructions or well known procedures, discarding food that has not been consumed within a reasonable time frame, etc.
The World Health Organization has created “5 Keys to Safer Food” with the motto “Knowledge = Prevention” to promote food safety for consumers in their personal lives, families, and communities. They can be summarized by the following:
- Keep Clean
- Separate Raw and Cooked
- Cook Thoroughly
- Keep Food at Safe Temperatures
- Use Safe Water and Raw Materials
Food Safety for Food Producers: Agricultural Industry & Farmers and Food Companies
It is absolutely important for food producers to develop, maintain, and produce safe, fresh, and healthy foods for consumers by practicing and setting high standards of food safety throughout the entire process of production and manufacturing of their specified products.
The agricultural industry and farmers, as well as food companies, can ensure food safety by following guidelines and requirements set and mandated by governmental organizations and agencies. It is also important for these institutions to develop, maintain, and grow more from these guidelines to provide superior quality of food products through better and well refined practices and standards of operating procedures.
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