Food Safety

Food safety
Foodborne illness
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
Critical control point
Critical factors
Food, acidity, time, temperature, oxygen and moisture
Water activity (aw)
Clostridium botulinum
E. coli
Hepatitis A
Parasitic infections

Food safety[1] is a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent foodborne illness. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards.

Food can transmit disease from person to person as well as serve as a growth medium for [3]

  1. Prevent contaminating food with pathogens spreading from people, pets, and pests.
  2. Separate raw and cooked foods to prevent contaminating the cooked foods.
  3. Cook foods for the appropriate length of time and at the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens.
  4. Store food at the proper temperature.
  5. Do use safe water and cooked materials.


[edit] ISO 22000

HACCP principles.

[edit] Incidence

A 2003 World Health Organization (WHO) report concluded that about 30% of reported [5]

[edit] Regulatory agencies

[edit] WHO and FAO

In 2003, the WHO and FAO published the Codex Alimentarius which serves as a guideline to food safety.[6]

[edit] Australia

Australian Food Authority is working toward ensuring that all food businesses implement food safety systems to ensure food is safe to consume in a bid to halt the increasing incidence of food poisoning, this includes basic food safety training for at least one person in each business. Smart business operators know that basic food safety training improves the bottom line, staff take more pride in their work; there is less waste; and customers can have more confidence in the food they consume. Food Safety training in units of competence from a relevant training package, must be delivered by a Registered Training Organization (RTO) to enable staff to be issued with a nationally recognised unit of competency code on their certificate. Generally this training can be completed in less than one day. Training options are available to suit the needs of everyone. Training may be carried out in-house for a group, in a public class, via correspondence or online. Basic food safety training includes:

  • Understanding the hazards associated with the main types of food and the conditions to prevent the growth of bacteria which can cause food poisoning
  • The problems associated with product packaging such as leaks in vacuum packs, damage to packaging or pest infestation, as well as problems and diseases spread by pests.
  • Safe food handling. This includes safe procedures for each process such as receiving, re-packing, food storage, preparation and cooking, cooling and re-heating, displaying products, handling products when serving customers, packaging, cleaning and sanitizing, pest control, transport and delivery. Also the causes of cross contamination.
  • Catering for customers who are particularly at risk of food-borne illness, including allergies and intolerance.
  • Correct cleaning and sanitizing procedures, cleaning products and their correct use, and the storage of cleaning items such as brushes, mops and cloths.
  • Personal hygiene, hand washing, illness, and protective clothing.

People responsible for serving unsafe food can be liable for heavy fines under this new legislation, consumers are pleased that industry will be forced to take food safety seriously.

[edit] China

Food safety is a growing concern in Chinese agriculture. The Chinese government oversees agricultural production as well as the manufacture of food packaging, containers, chemical additives, drug production, and business regulation. In recent years, the Chinese government attempted to consolidate food regulation with the creation of the State Food and Drug Administration in 2003, and officials have also been under increasing public and international pressure to solve food safety problems. However, it appears that regulations are not well known by the trade. Labels used for “green” food, “organic” food and “pollution-free” food are not well recognized by traders and many are unclear about their meaning. A survey by the World Bank found that supermarket managers had difficulty in obtaining produce that met safety requirements and found that a high percentage of produce did not comply with established standards.[7]

Traditional marketing systems, whether in China or the rest of Asia, presently provide little motivation or incentive for individual farmers to make improvements to either quality or safety as their produce tends to get grouped together with standard products as it progresses through the marketing channel. Direct linkages between farmer groups and traders or ultimate buyers, such as supermarkets, can help avoid this problem. Governments need to improve the condition of many markets through upgrading management and reinvesting market fees in physical infrastructure. Wholesale markets need to investigate the feasibility of developing separate sections to handle fruits and vegetables that meet defined safety and quality standards.[8]

[edit] European Union

The parliament of the European Food Safety Authority.

Individual member states may also have other legislation and controls in respect of food safety, provided that they do not prevent trade with other states, and can differ considerably in their internal structures and approaches to the regulatory control of food safety.

[edit] France

Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail (anses) is a French governmental agency dealing with food safety.

[edit] Germany

The Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV)[9] is a Federal Ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany. History: Founded as Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Foresting in 1949, this name did not change until 2001. Then the name changed to Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture. At the 22nd of November 2005, the name got changed again to its current state: Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. The reason for this last change was that all the resorts should get equal ranking which was achieved by sorting the resorts alphabetically. Vision: A balanced and healthy diet with safe food, distinct consumer rights and consumer information for various areas of life, and a strong and sustainable agriculture as well as perspectives for our rural areas are important goals of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety is under the control of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. It exercises several duties, with which it contributes to safer food and thereby intensifies health-based consumer protection in Germany. Food can be manufactured and sold within Germany without a special permission, as long as it does not cause any damage on consumers’ health and meets the general standards set by the legislation. However, manufacturers, carriers, importers and retailers are responsible for the food they pass into circulation. They are obliged to ensure and document the safety and quality of their food with the use of in-house control mechanisms.

[edit] Hong Kong

In Centre for Food Safety is in charge of ensuring food sold is safe and fit for consumption.

[edit] India


[edit] New Zealand

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA), or Te Pou Oranga Kai O Aotearoa is the New Zealand government body responsible for food safety. NZFSA is also the controlling authority for imports and exports of food and food-related products.

Food Bill 160–2 was introduced on 26 May 2010 to make some fundamental changes to New Zealand’s domestic food regulatory regime. Primarily designed to drive an export led economic recovery for New Zealand, because the domestic food regulatory regime is the platform for exports. The New Zealand domestic standard is used as the basis for negotiating equivalence arrangements with trading partners. This minimizes the excessive importing country requirements that may be imposed but which do not go to food safety.

[edit] Pakistan

Pakistan does not have an integrated legal framework but has a set of laws, which deals with various aspects of food safety. These laws, despite the fact that they were enacted long time ago, have tremendous capacity to achieve at least minimum level of food safety. However, like many other laws, these laws remain very poorly enforced. There are four laws that specifically deal with food safety. Three of these laws directly focus issues related to food safety, while the fourth, the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority Act, is indirectly relevant to food safety.

The Pure Food Ordinance 1960 consolidates and amends the law in relation to the preparation and the sale of foods. All provinces and some northern areas have adopted this law with certain amendments. Its aim is to ensure purity of food being supplied to people in the market and, therefore, provides for preventing adulteration. The Pure Food Ordinance 1960 does not apply to cantonment areas. There is a separate law for cantonments called “The Cantonment Pure Food Act, 1966”. There is no substantial difference between the Pure Food Ordinance 1960 and The Cantonment Pure Food Act. Even the rules of operation are very much similar.

Pakistan Hotels and Restaurant Act, 1976 applies to all hotels and restaurants in Pakistan and seeks to control and regulate the rates and standard of service(s) by hotels and restaurants. In addition to other provisions, under section 22(2), the sale of food or beverages that are contaminated, not prepared hygienically or served in utensils that are not hygienic or clean is an offense. There are no express provisions for consumer complaints in the Pakistan Restaurants Act, 1976, Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 and Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority Act, 1996. The laws do not prevent citizens from lodging complaints with the concerned government officials; however, the consideration and handling of complaints is a matter of discretion of the officials.[10]

[edit] South Korea

[edit] Korea Food & Drug Administration

Korea Food & Drug Administration (KFDA)[11] is working for food safety since 1945. It is part of the Government of South Korea.

IOAS[12]-Organic Certification Bodies Registered in KFDA: “Organic” or related claims can be labelled on food products when organic certificates are considered as valid by KFDA. KFDA admits organic certificates which can be issued by 1) IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement) accredited certification bodies 2) Government accredited certification bodies – 328 bodies in 29 countries have been registered in KFDA.

Food Import Report: According to Food Import Report,[13] it is supposed to report or register what you import. Competent authority is as follows:

Product Authority
Imported Agricultural Products, Processed Foods, Food Additives, Utensils, Containers & Packages or Health Functional Foods KFDA (Korea Food and Drug Administration)
Imported Livestock, Livestock products (including Dairy products) NVRQS (National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service)
Packaged meat, milk & dairy products (butter, cheese), hamburger patties, meat ball and other processed products which are stipulated by Livestock Sanitation Management Act NVRQS (National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service)
Imported Marine products; fresh, chilled, frozen, salted, dehydrated, eviscerated marine produce which can be recognized its characteristics NFIS (National Fisheries Products Quality Inspection Service)

[edit] National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation

National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation (NIFDS)[14] is functioning as well. The National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation is a national organization for toxicological tests and research. Under the Korea Food & Drug Administration, the Institute performs research on toxicology, pharmacology, and risk analysis of foods, drugs, and their additives. The Institute strives primarily to understand important biological triggering mechanisms and improve assessment methods of human exposure, sensitivities, and risk by (1) conducting basic, applied, and policy research that closely examines biologically triggering harmful effects on the regulated products such as foods, food additives, and drugs, and (2) operating the national toxicology program for the toxicological test development and inspection of hazardous chemical ubstances assessments. The Institute ensures safety by (1) investigation and research on safety by its own researchers, (2) contract research by external academicians and research centers.

[edit] United Kingdom

In the UK the Food Standards Agency is an independent government department responsible for food safety and hygiene across the UK. [16]

[edit] United States

The US food system is regulated by numerous federal, state and local officials. It has been criticized as lacking in “organization, regulatory tools, and not addressing food borne illness.”[17]

[edit] Federal level regulation

The Food and Drug Administration publishes the Food Code, a model set of guidelines and procedures that assists food control jurisdictions by providing a scientifically sound technical and legal basis for regulating the retail and food service industries, including restaurants, grocery stores and institutional foodservice providers such as nursing homes. Regulatory agencies at all levels of government in the United States use the FDA Food Code to develop or update food safety rules in their jurisdictions that are consistent with national food regulatory policy. According to the FDA, 48 of 56 states and territories, representing 79% of the U.S. population, have adopted food codes patterned after one of the five versions of the Food Code, beginning with the 1993 edition.[18]

In the United States, federal regulations governing food safety are fragmented and complicated, according to a February 2007 report from the Government Accountability Office.[19] There are 15 agencies sharing oversight responsibilities in the food safety system, although the two primary agencies are the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which is responsible for the safety of meat, poultry, and processed egg products, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is responsible for virtually all other foods.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service has approximately 7,800 inspection program personnel working in nearly 6,200 federally inspected meat, poultry and processed egg establishments. FSIS is charged with administering and enforcing the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, the Egg Products Inspection Act, portions of the Agricultural Marketing Act, the Humane Slaughter Act, and the regulations that implement these laws. FSIS inspection program personnel inspect every animal before slaughter, and each carcass after slaughter to ensure public health requirements are met. In fiscal year (FY) 2008, this included about 50 billion pounds of livestock carcasses, about 59 billion pounds of poultry carcasses, and about 4.3 billion pounds of processed egg products. At U.S. borders, they also inspected 3.3 billion pounds of imported meat and poultry products.[20]

[edit] Industry pressure

There have been concerns over the efficacy of safety practices and food industry pressure on U.S. regulators. A study reported by Reuters found that “the food industry is jeopardizing U.S. public health by withholding information from food safety investigators or pressuring regulators to withdraw or alter policy designed to protect consumers”. A survey found that 25% of U.S. government inspectors and scientists surveyed have experienced during the past year corporate interests forcing their food safety agency to withdraw or to modify agency policy or action that protects consumers. Scientists have observed that management undercuts field inspectors who stand up for food safety against industry pressure. According to Dr. Dean Wyatt, a USDA veterinarian who oversees federal slaughter house inspectors, “Upper level management does not adequately support field inspectors and the actions they take to protect the food supply. Not only is there lack of support, but there’s outright obstruction, retaliation and abuse of power.”[21]

[edit] State and local regulation

A number of U.S. [23]

However, other state food safety programs supplement, rather than replace, Federal inspections, generally with the goal of increasing consumer confidence in the state’s produce. For example, state health departments have a role in investigating outbreaks of food-borne disease bacteria, as in the case of the 2006 outbreak of [25]

In addition to the US Food and Drug Administration, several states that are major producers of fresh fruits and vegetables (including California, Arizona and Florida) have their own state programs to test produce for pesticide residues.[26]

Restaurants and other retail food establishments fall under state law and are regulated by state or local health departments. Typically these regulations require official inspections of specific design features, best food-handling practices, and certification of food handlers.[29]

[edit] Manufacturing control

[edit] HACCP guidelines

The UK Food Standards Agency publishes recommendations as part of its Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) programme. The relevant guidelines[30] state that:

Cooking food until the CORE TEMPERATURE is 75 °C or above will ensure that harmful bacteria are destroyed.
However, lower cooking temperatures are acceptable provided that the CORE TEMPERATURE is maintained for a specified period of time as follows :

  • 60 °C for a minimum of 45 minutes
  • 65 °C for a minimum of 10 minutes
  • 70 °C for a minimum of 2 minutes”

Previous guidance from a leaflet produced by the UK Department Of Health “Handling Cooked Meats Safely A Ten Point Plan” also allowed for:

  • “75 °C for a minimum of 30 seconds
  • 80 °C for a minimum of 6 seconds”

as well as the above. Secondary references for the above may be found at[35]

Note that recommended cooking conditions are only appropriate if initial bacterial numbers in the uncooked food are small. Cooking does not overcome poor hygiene.

[edit] Consumer labeling

[edit] United Kingdom

Foodstuffs in the UK have one of two labels to indicate the nature of the deterioration of the product and any subsequent health issues. EHO Food Hygiene certification is required to prepare and distribute food. While there is no specified expiry date of such a qualification the changes in legislation it is suggested to update every five years.

Best before indicates a future date beyond which the food product may lose quality in terms of taste or texture amongst others, but does not imply any serious health problems if food is consumed beyond this date (within reasonable limits).

Use by indicates a legal date beyond which it is not permissible to sell a food product (usually one that deteriorates fairly rapidly after production) due to the potential serious nature of consumption of pathogens. Leeway is sometimes provided by producers in stating display until dates so that products are not at their limit of safe consumption on the actual date stated (this latter is voluntary and not subject to regulatory control). This allows for the variability in production, storage and display methods.

[edit] United States

With the exception of infant formula and baby foods which must be withdrawn by their expiration date, Federal law does not require expiration dates. For all other foods, except dairy products in some states, freshness dating is strictly voluntary on the part of manufacturers. In response to consumer demand, perishable foods are typically labelled with a Sell by date.[37]

[edit] Australia and New Zealand

Guide to Food Labelling and Other Information Requirements: This guide provides background information on the general labelling requirements in the Code. The information in this guide applies both to food for retail sale and to food for catering purposes. Foods for catering purposes means those foods for use in restaurants, canteens, schools, caterers or self-catering institutions, where food is offered for immediate consumption. Labelling and information requirements in the new Code apply both to food sold or prepared for sale in Australia and New Zealand and food imported into Australia and New Zealand. Warning and Advisory Declarations, Ingredient Labelling, Date Marking, Nutrition Information Requirements, Legibility Requirements for Food Labels, Percentage Labelling, Information Requirements for Foods Exempt from Bearing a Label.[39]

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Satin, M., Food Alert: The Ultimate Sourcebook for Food Safety, Facts on File, Inc., September 2008, 2nd ed..
  2. ^ I. A. Shiklomanov, Appraisal and Assessment of World Water Resources, Water International 25(1): 11–32, 2000.
  3. ^ WHO | Prevention of foodborne disease: Five keys to safer food. Retrieved on 2010-12-10.
  4. dead link]
  5. ^ WHO | Food safety and foodborne illness. Retrieved on 2010-12-10.
  6. ^ Codex Alimentarius. “Codex Alimentarius and Food Hygiene”. Retrieved 15 October 2007.
  7. ^ World Bank and China Agriculture Press. 2005. [2] China’s Compliance with Food Safety Requirements for Fruits and Vegetables: Promoting Food Safety, Competitiveness, and Poverty Reduction.
  8. ^ Andrew W. Shepherd, 2006. [3] Quality and safety in the traditional horticultural marketing chains of Asia. FAO, Rome.
  9. ^ “German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection”.
  10. ^ Mazhar Siraj, 2004,, Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan.
  11. ^ “Korea Food & Drug Administration”.
  12. ^ “Feb 14 IFOAM Accr list.pdf”.
  13. ^ “Foods Import Report Guide”.
  14. ^ “National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation”.
  16. ^ Food Hygiene Guidelines
  17. ^ Becker, Geoffrey, The Federal Food Safety System: A primer, Congressional Research Service, 4/10/10.
  18. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  19. ^ “GAO-07-449T, Federal Oversight of Food Safety” (PDF).
  20. ^ “FSIS Testimony, March 11, 2009” (PDF).
  21. ^ Reuters, 14 September 2010, “Industry Has Sway Over Food Safety System: U.S. Study,” free archived version at:
  22. ^ “FSIS State Inspection Programs”.
  23. ^ “USDA Allowed State Meat Inspection Programs To Operate Even After Finding Cutting Boards Contaminated With Old Meat And Soot-Like Residues On Swine Carcasses.” (PDF).
  24. ^ “State Health Department announces test results: Match genetic fingerprints to E. coli outbreak, Press Release, ben 0987, 8765.”.
  25. ^ “CDHS Education Training Unit”.
  26. ^ “Pesticides and food: How we test for safety. California Department of Pesticide Regulation, June 2003.” (PDF).
  27. ^ “New York Restaurant Inspection Information”.
  28. ^ “NYC Health Dept. Launches Restaurant Cleanliness Certificate”.
  29. ^ “A Guide to Food Safety Practices in Virginia Restaurants”.
  30. ^ Cooking
  31. ^ Handling Cooked Meats
  32. dead link]
  33. ^ [5] This document states that: “This publication may be freely reproduced, except for advertising, endorsement or likely that, in the interests of good customer relations they will be commercial purposes. Please acknowledge the source as Wigan Council Community Protection Department.”
  34. dead link]
  35. ^ Ten point plan for safer cooked meat production
  36. ^ “Expiration, Use-by, and Sell-by Dates, Part 1: Expiration dating is not federally required on all products”.
  37. ^ “Expiration, Use-by, and Sell-by Dates, Part 2: Deciphering food expiration codes can be tricky.”.
  38. ^ “Overview of Food Labelling Guide to Food Labelling and Other Information Requirements”.
  39. Retrieved 15 September 2010.

[edit] References

  • M. Satin, Food Alert: The Ultimate Sourcebook for Food Safety, September 2008, 2nd ed. dead link]
  • Blackwell Publishing
  • Food Control, ISSN: 0956-7135, Elsevier
  • Food and Chemical Toxicology, ISSN: 0278-6915, Elsevier
  • Food Policy, ISSN: 0306-9192, Elsevier
  • Journal of Food Protection, ISSN 0362-028X, International Association for Food Protection
  • Journal of Food Safety, ISSN: 1745-4565 (electronic) ISSN: 0149-6085 (paper), Blackwell Publishing
  • Journal of Foodservice, ISSN: 1745-4506 (electronic) ISSN: 1748-0140 (paper), Blackwell Publishing
  • Sensing and Instrumentation for Food Quality and Safety, ISSN: 1932-9954 (electronic) ISSN: 1932-7587 (paper), Springer
  • Internet Journal of Food Safety, ISSN: 1930-0670, International Association for Food Safety/Quality
  • Mark Clute (October 2008). Food Industry Quality Control Systems. [CRC Press]. ISBN 978-0-8493-8028-0.

[edit] External links

Source: Wikipedia