With industrialization, food establishments and processing units have experienced a huge boom in efficiency and demand.
But with the increase in production, the importance of safety must never be forgotten. In fact, safe food processing is part of ensuring a business’s success and the welfare of its customers. When food products aren’t processed and handled properly, contamination occurs, leading to the spread of diseases that harm people and put manufacturers and distributors in question.
Fortunately, if you’re running a food processing business, there are strategies you can implement to uphold standards and regulations in your operations. Using them proves your dedication to the public’s satisfaction and safety.
Here are some you can start with today.
1. Improve Cleaning And Sanitation Practices
Contamination happens at any point of the food processing chain if you fail to set and enforce specific hygiene standards.
In light of this, you and your management should develop and implement a trackable system of hygienic routines. It helps ensure that your food products are prepared and handled according to industry guidelines to reduce health risks as much as possible.
Your cleaning and sanitation practices should include the following:
- Thorough disinfecting of the food processing areas, equipment, and machinery used in your operations
- Removing potential waste sources and insect-breeding sites to reduce the risk of infestation inside the processing areas
- Investing in pest control detection and monitoring to prevent cockroaches, flies, and rodents from contaminating produce
- Implementing personal hygiene practices for all employees, such as frequently washing hands, using personal protective gear, and covering hair
By following cleaning and sanitation practices, you take care of many points where contamination can occur.
2. Perform Quality Checks
Quality checks play a crucial role in your food processing business. They ensure that specific health and safety standards are maintained throughout the process. It also allows you to check the quality of your food products, identifying signs of contamination and other forms of non-compliance with safety regulations before packing and distributing.
To perform quality checks, you need to have a quality assurance team responsible for assessing all food products and processes. Also, it’s best to invest in high-quality machines and systems for food inspection to ensure the products are safe for the consumers. For example, inspection systems like color sorters, metal detectors, and x-ray machines can inspect goods for foreign materials that may cause food contamination.
3. Re-Evaluate Your Facility’s Layout
The design and layout of your food processing facility should adhere to safety guidelines to reduce the risk of contamination.
Hence, it’s crucial to devise a plan for the location and machinery design. Take problems such as pollution and infestations into account through inspections and site surveys. That way, you can set up your food processing facility in a way that reduces the accumulation of waste as much as possible.
On the other hand, you should also have a plan for machinery and production line design. Like the facility location, you must outline the procedures for selecting food processing machinery. For example, the ones you pick for your conveyor system must be easy to clean and maintain to be usable for long periods. Considering these things beforehand saves you a lot of trouble down the line.
4. Have A Proper Waste Management Program
It’s also essential to manage your food processing plant’s waste well to keep your products safe for distribution.
This is where a proper waste management program comes into play. It can help ensure that the waste won’t directly or indirectly come in contact with food. As a result, you can avoid their buildup and minimize the risk of contaminating equipment, raw materials, and products.
To implement an effective waste management program, you should consider the following practices:
- Remove waste materials from the areas where the food products are prepared and processed immediately.
- Provide proper containers and waste storage areas at a sufficient distance to avoid contact with food.
- Label waste containers with biodegradable or non-biodegradable to maintain an efficient disposal system.
- Empty containers and wash them daily with disinfectant before subsequent use.
- Assign a waste disposal team to be responsible for disposing of all waste products in the facility regularly.
- Hire a reputable waste disposal company to streamline and ensure a safe disposal process.
When you implement these measures, you remove a big source of problems most plants face, which is putting their products close to waste. This goes a long way in maintaining safety and sanitation standards in your facility.
Safety And Quality Go Hand-In-Hand
Running a business in the food industry requires time, energy, and resources. On top of these things, a dedication to safety protocols is also important to ensure the success of your enterprise. Consider these strategies if you want to keep your food products safe.