This lesson focuses on the following topics:
What is Food Safety?
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
Permits and Inspections
What is Food Safety?
Food safety is the practice of eliminating harmful agents from food, preventing food contamination, and ensuring that food is fit for consumption. In general food safety tries to:
Reduce conditions that favor growth or introduction of microorganisms that cause illness and spoilage.
Handle, transport, and store food in safe ways.
Dispose of food that poses a threat to human health.
Importance of Food Safety
Food safety is an important part of all of our lives. Unless we grow our own foods entirely, we are exposed daily to the food safety practices of those individuals who otherwise grow, process, ship, prepare, cook, serve, and in any form—handle our foods. Like most things in life, food safety is not a perfect practice; eventually contaminated food products will make their way onto our tables—but vigilant and determined food safety practices can greatly reduce the frequency in which this occurs.
High Standards in Food Safety
High standards in food safety provide many benefits. High standards help to:
Reduce lawsuits and criminal prosecutions caused by poor standards.
Enable customers to feel comfortable in the safety of the product being served.
Provide an overall cleaner work environment, among other things.
By maintaining high food safety standards, lawsuits and criminal prosecutions are avoided. Keeping good practice and good records of these practices will give you the ammunition you need to combat any accusations of poor food safety standards and negligence.
Importance of Food Safety to Customers
Maintaining high food safety standards helps to keep customers comfortable in your establishment. Keeping a clean house will make patrons confident that the food they are eating has been handled in a sanitary and proper manner.
This in turn will lead to customer loyalty which will help to increase profit.
When taught food safety, one will better understand the need to handle food correctly and keep a clean environment.
This understanding will make the extra effort needed to maintain safety easier and will keep spirits up.
Making sure that everyone is well trained has a direct relation on the quality of the food product an establishment delivers and will keep turn-around at a minimum.
Overall, a cleaner and more educated staff will result in less employee abandonment and more respect for the establishment's product.
All of the benefits of highly maintained food safety practices are essentially reversed, or eliminated, when dealing with poor food safety standards.
A few extra hours of employee education can save countless hours searching for new employees or fending off potential lawsuits or closures due to unsatisfactory inspection or employee violations.
For example, when employees know the correct way to store foods, there will be less product waste and more profit gain. Clean and orderly employees will attract new and potentially loyal customers.
Each year many millions of people contract foodborne illnesses from eating unsafe foods, and thousands die as well.
Many of these cases go unregistered because they are sometimes hard to diagnose or they are simply not reported. Often foodborne illnesses come in the form of stomach cramps and diarrhea.
People get sick for a few days and are unsure whom to blame, or simply let the illness pass. Because of this, the true number of foodborne illnesses in the United States is hard to establish, but the Center for Disease Control "estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), poor personal hygiene, contaminated equipment, improper holding, inadequate cooking, and unsafe sources are all