Food Safety & Hygiene – A Key to Good Health
Food Safety & Hygiene broadly means taking essential precautions throughout the food chain, to ensure that food is safe for human consumption. This requires precautions to be taken at every level from Farm to Fork.
Storage: To maintain the quality of food, store it in a manner that it remains fresh when used in different recipes.
Dry goods, such as sugar or flour should be stored in airtight containers to keep them clean and dry. Such containers when placed into a pantry or residing on a kitchen counter are relatively safe from humidity and extreme temperatures.
Perishable food items must be stored properly in a freezer in order to preserve them for later use. Freezing helps to slow the process of decay, thus minimizing the chances of food poisoning, when for example meat is used at a later date.
Prepared food should not be left on the table or counter, but stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer. Cooked refrigerated food typically does not last longer than a week, it is, therefore, necessary to check and verify that it is still safe to eat.
Cooking: Practicing proper food safety and hygiene protocols, while cooking or preparing food, reduces the risk of illnesses.
Handling & Transportation: The raw or prepared food should confirm to best hygiene practices w.r.t. as storage, segregation, temperature control, etc., mentioned above
Be Safe Take precautions – Simple Rules to follow for Safer Food:
• Wash hands properly & frequently with an antiseptic soap before & after handling
• Wash & clean utensils with good quality detergent after every use.
• Use clean hand gloves and caps while cooking.
• Purchase food commodities from a trusted source and in the case of packaged products check the “Best Before” date and packaging defects.
• Keep food on clean surfaces, e.g., cutting board, knives, implements, equipment, etc., should be thoroughly washed & cleaned before and in between two usages.
• Isolate raw meats & fish from other food items during storage in the refrigerator and even before cooking. Make sure they are sealed in containers and located in such a place where they cannot drip down onto other stored food.
• Do not allow cooked food and food to come into contact with each other.
• Maintain food at the proper temperature, for the correct time to kill any bacteria or pathogens. The only way to kill food-borne pathogens is by thoroughly cooking the food. Temperature In between 50C to 630C is considered a ‘Danger Zone’ as at that temperature Bacteria thrive and multiply very fast. Recommended cooking temperatures, critical points, SOPs, and times for different foods may be found online.
• Do not leave foods out on the counter to thaw, and certainly do not run them under warm water, which can cause bacterial growth. Instead, thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator, and run them under cold water, immediately before cooking.
Compromising the simple rules mentioned above could impose the risk of cross-contamination and food poisoning, which can be dangerous or even deadly.
Several food hygiene tests and a thorough evaluation of food handling procedures, help to determine whether all applicable guidelines and regulations are being followed. A food hygiene test is typically performed by a trained professional, certified lab, or known food inspector/officer/auditor, to ensure that a restaurant or facility meets the local and regional safety requirements for food handling.
Training courses are typically offered by different institutes, study centers, and also online through distance-learning programs. Envirocare Labs under its Center for Continual Education provides regular training on Food Safety Hygiene, basics of Good Hygiene and Manufacturing Practices, HACCP, and FSMS 22000. For registration contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Testy Way is a Healthy Way
Biochemical processes taking place inside food tell us what is safe to eat & help determine if the quality is consistent or not. Scientific developments have allowed a better understanding of the nutritional qualities of foods and their health implications. This has led consumers to become more discriminating in food matters, who now expect that domestic and imported foods will meet basic quality and safety standards and requirements related to food hygiene, labeling and certification, use of food additives, limits for pesticide residues, etc.
Quality and Safety of food have to be ensured throughout the food production, processing, storage, and distribution chain. This being a multi-sectoral activity, its objectives cannot be reached without the active cooperation of producers, traders, industry, and government, as also the involvement of the scientific community. Thus,the involvement of various recognized labs such as Envirocare Labs to generate analytical data helps in the development and successful operation of the food control system asper regulatory safety standards. While it may not be economically feasible for an FBO to set up and operate a full-fledged food testing laboratory, outsourcing laboratory testingto accredited, competent & authorized labs are a viable & preferred option.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 as a statutory body for laying down science-based standards for articles of food and regulating the manufacturing, processing, distribution, sale, and import of food so as to ensure safe and wholesome food for human consumption. Chapter 2-Food Product Standards of FSSR 2011 elaborates on 13food categories and gives the guideline values for the quality and safety of various raw materials and processed food. As per the Regulations- mentioned in Schedule II, Annexure 3-Conditions of Licensing, Clause no. 12, every food business operator needs to get their food and water tested from NABL accredited / FSSAI impaneled lab. Envirocare Labs is one of the first private ‘Indian’ laboratories to be recognized by the Authority and has been working towards Safe Food for the past 43 years. For sample test requests and any queries on the new regulations you may contact
In the best interest of safeguarding the health, hygiene & safety of the Consumers, it is important to remember ‘What Tastes Good Should First Test Good