An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as Ben Franklin once said. Making steps to prevent a problem before it becomes uncontrollable is key to a successful future. When it comes to food safety and sanitation, preventing critical mistakes should be your first step.
Keep reading to learn 5 essential tips to help you pass your next inspection in your production facility.
5 Tips For Proper Food Safety And Sanitation
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, there are 48 million cases of food borne illnesses per year, which is the equivalent of 1 in 6 Americans. Understanding proper food handling and protocol can prevent a significant amount of these cases.
1Teach Proper Hygiene and Sanitation Methods
Employees should know the proper protocols and hygiene methods in order to upkeep safety. Proper hand washing, storage, packaging, and behavior are all important aspects of preventing the spread of contains through food.
Most important is creating a culture built around food safety. Employees should understand the financial impact of poor food safety and sanitation has on the overall functioning of the business. Requiring everyone who comes in contact with food to undergo a food safety certification process is a simple way of assuring wide-spread compliance.
Cross-contamination is a serious offense when it comes to food safety. Cross-contamination happens when food-handlers do not wash their hands or change their gloves when switching activities, using equipment multiple times without cleaning or sterilization in between. This promotes the spread of disease as well as allergens.
3Have a Food Safety Plan
Employees know the proper steps to take to prepare for inspection such as an SQF audit. An audit can make or break a facility. Without a detailed food safety plan, you could be looking at months of correcting problems.
There are many regulations, policies, and rules that one must remember in order to run a facility at peak efficiency and safety. It is a good idea to have all of the procedures for day-to-day operations, as well as pre-audit and inspection day plans, written down and available for all employees.
In the stress of these moments, it’s easy to make “minor” mistakes. However, those small mistakes add up and could cost money and time to fix.
4Use Chemicals Properly
Chemicals and industrial-strength cleaners are an essential part of everyday operations. Employees should know what to clean, how to sanitize, and where to use chemicals. There’s a difference between disinfecting, sanitizing, sterilizing, and cleaning, all of which are important to know.
Some chemicals are temperature sensitive or need to remain on a surface for 5 or more minutes to efficiently sanitize or disinfect an area.
The FDA has strict guidelines that facilities must maintain to minimize the risk of pests invading the food storage or handling areas. Pests, dead and alive, are often significant problems for food plants. If inspectors find evidence of pests or that pests could contaminate the area, this could lead to a failing grade.
Food Safety Made Easy
Food safety and sanitation is a top priority in order to prevent the spread of disease and contagions. Employees should know the best practices to stay safe and prepare for an audit. Remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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