With regard to purpose, Food Safety Management System was established in order to identify, reduce and potentially prevent hazards that are food-borne. It is also prepared in order to reduce the risk of food poisoning, making sure that food is safe for consumption. Overall, it is to protect the general consumers against potential dangers caused by incorrect preparation of food. While there is a set of food hygiene regulations that bigger entities are required to follow, there are food safety management tips that each and every one of us need to take into proper consideration.
Here are 10 facts of the food safety management system that you should know about:
Impact of Globalization
Yes, globalization has made food safety more essential and complex. This particularly applies to food production and trade. With globalization at hand, the food chain becomes longer, thus complicating potential outbreak investigation or product recall in case of foodborne diseases emergency. With this in mind, it is very important to ensure that you are well familiar with the source of your food, especially for imported food items. Be alert of any announcements for recall and respond right away.
Rampant Food Contamination Opportunities
The food supply these days has become more complex. As such, it usually involves a wide range of stages which typically includes on-farm production, harvesting or slaughtering, storage, processing, distribution and transport even before the food actually reaches our table. Therefore, we can never be 100% sure of the food that we eat. This means that you have to exert extra effort in keeping the cleanliness of your food the moment it reaches your hand.
Vulnerable People are the Target
Infections that often come as a result of contaminated food usually post a higher impact on vulnerable people, that is, those who have fragile or poor health status. This can also easily lead to serious diseases, and eventually, death. For pregnant women, infants, the elderly and the sick ones, these consequences are typically more severe. In fact, they can even be fatal. When handling food for these groups of people, extra care should be prioritized.
Results of Contaminated Food
Reality dictates that contaminated food is dangerous. In fact, exposure to it can result to long-term health problems. Among the most common symptoms of these foodborne diseases include vomiting, stomach pains and diarrhea. However, food that is contaminated with naturally occurring toxins or heavy metals may also cause other long-term health issues including neurological disorders and cancers. While we may have limited access to how our food was held before it reaches us, the moment we get hold of it, we need to exercise proper care and hygiene.
Over 200 Diseases are Spread through Food
According to the website of the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 10 people become sick each year as a result of eating food that is contaminated. About 420,000 people also die every year because of this. Among those that are of particularly higher risk are children who are below 5 years old. About 125,000 younger children are also dying from foodborne diseases each year. The right preparation of food can also help in avoiding most of these common foodborne diseases.
Food Safety is Multidisciplinary and Multisectoral
In order to further enhance food safety, a lot of various professionals work together harmoniously, utilizing the best available technologies and science. Representatives work together, discussing different ways in which they can work hand in hand in making sure of food safety. Different departments of the government, and agencies, covering agriculture, public health, trade and education, has to communicate and collaborate with each other, engaging with the rest of the civil society, including the different consumer groups of the society.
Impact of Food Contamination on the Economy
We might not really think of it seriously, but food contamination often offers a number of far reaching effects, way beyond direct consequences in public health. It further undermines food tourism, exports, and livelihoods of the food handlers, including economic development, and several other facets. This affects both developed and developing countries as well.
Drug Resistance of Some Bacteria
There are certain harmful bacteria which are becoming resistant to different drug treatments. This antimicrobial resistance is currently a growing health concern in the world. Misuse and overuse of these antimicrobials are common in the field of agriculture as well as animal husbandry. In fact, this is one of the leading factors that result to the spread and emergence of antimicrobial resistance. When this happens on animals, the bacteria may be transmitted to human consumers through food.
We Have a Role to Play
The process of food safety does not just lie on the hands of the farmers, and the other hands which are involved in the process, because we also have a crucial role to play. It is a shared responsibility between industries, governments, producers, as well as consumers. Achieving the highest standards in food safety is a multi-sectoral effort which needs the expertise of various disciplines. Even local communities can also play a role.
Awareness on Food Safety Practices
Consumers should always make a wise and well-informed decision when it comes to food selection while adopting healthy eating behaviors. This calls for the need to be aware of the most common food hazards, and how to handle food items safely, using the information that is usually provided in the labels of food products and items. This awareness can go a long way in terms of food safety practices.
Knowing about these food safety system facts will help us understand better its overall need. After all, it’s not just about food preparation hygiene. The food that we allow our family to eat is what makes them, literally. They become the productive people that they are if they eat the right kind of food, prepared in the safest way possible. Food safety is not just applicable to food-preparation entities, such as caterers, restaurants, and the like, but also for individual households as well.