General Principles Of Food Safety In Food Processing

If your mom never told you to wash your hands before dinner, now may be a good time to start. 

Did you know 33% of all related food poisoning cases were from incorrect hand washing in 2019, despite strict food safety protocols? 

Most food and beverage manufacturing professionals are well-versed in the importance of hand washing and the correct handling of food to prevent food contamination, but sound food safety protocols go beyond simply washing hands.

General principles of food hygiene go beyond personal hygiene (such as hair nets, gloves, removal of jewelry, and proper hand washing) and include complex cleaning and sanitation procedures, proper food storage and handling, food safety training, and a robust food safety plan. 

Let’s explore the standard food safety protocols used by top food and beverage manufacturing companies.

Food Safety Protocols For Food And Beverage Manufacturing Professionals

Food and beverage manufacturing requires strict safety protocols and training to meet specific cleanliness levels. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) General Principles of Food Hygiene, Composition and Labelling (GPFHCL) provides guidelines for the food and beverage manufacturing industry to maintain food safety protocols. 

Well-reputed companies such as Nestle and Coca-cola list their Quality & Food Safety Policies on their websites. This not only shows they are credible manufacturers but also elicits trust in the people that are going to be drinking or eating their products. And that's the type of company you want to work for. 

Take a leaf out of their book. Here are the standard protocols any quality assurance supervisor worth his/ her title should follow daily. 

1. Food Safety Training: All food and beverage manufacturing plants must adhere to GMPs, and develop food safety plans, including hazard analysis and control prevention. Quality assurance supervisors should ensure a written training program is available for all food handlers to comply with these regulations. 

This training program should address personal hygiene, food handling, and equipment protocols. All food handlers should undergo adequate training frequently and when the plant’s food safety guidelines change. 

2. Cleaning and Sanitation Checklists: It is a standard requirement to ensure all equipment, surfaces, and appliances are sanitised before and after usage. Top companies ensure this process is well communicated and documented. If any contamination occurs, the course of the contamination can be tracked.

3. Accurate documentation and record keeping: Quality assurance supervisors know that a fair amount of tracking is required as part of the job. These documents help ensure correct standards are met, outline when equipment is scheduled for cleaning or maintenance, when raw food enters the plant, etc. These records ensure compliance and allow for incidences to be completely tracked. 

4. Food Storage and Handling Procedures: Cross-contamination control is vital to avoid food recalls. A plant with procedures in place to avoid contamination is good practice and shows they take pride in its processes. A standard operational proposal should outline these procedures for temperature control of food products during transport and storage, storing raw materials, and ensuring proper inventory rotation. 

5. Testing: Top companies like Nestle and Coca-cola are dedicated to testing. As Nestle guarantees: “We carry out more than 100 million tests a year to verify product compliance with internal and external standards.” Ensuring the plant uses new technology and data analysis to test for any error in food safety protocols will set you up for success. 

Food Safety Training to Advance Your Career 

Food safety protocols shift and change. That’s why it's important that manufacturers evolve their procedures and provide regular training.  Most food and beverage manufacturing companies will provide on-the-job training on safety protocols and guidelines. 

Still, it is important to stay updated with new advances in food safety, like reading our blogs. Other resources worth keeping in your favourite folder include Quality Assurance Magazine, Food Safety Magazine, and Inspection Canada

Food and beverage manufacturing professionals that understand how to work with food intended for human consumption ensure:

  • Fewer foodborne illnesses are spread.
  • Highlight they are knowledgeable about their job position. 
  • And take their role within a plant seriously.  

Senior job positions in food and beverage manufacturing call for more robust skill sets, and a thorough understanding of food safety protocols can set you apart from other candidates. So if you want to advance your career, it's worth upskilling with the latest food safety training courses available. 

Top 5 Food Safety Courses For Career Growth In Food And Beverage Processing 

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Romy Zwiers

Author

Romy Zwiers is a journalist and marketing professional with 16 years of experience working across industries with a keen focus on the beverage and food industry, having worked with companies like KFC, Nandos, Cadbury and Coca-Cola.

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