Food is one of the most basic needs for the survival of humans. The nutrients we obtain from food give us the energy and nourishment we need to perform our everyday activities. Moreover, food also has a cultural significance and helps define a community’s identity. Food provides you with a variety of flavorful experiences. Hence, food safety is the responsibility of all participants in the food supply chain. You have an important role in food safety whether you are a food supplier, a food business owner, a manufacturer, or a customer.
Hence, in addition to enjoyment, everyone should have the right to food safety. This World Food Safety Day let us understand what exactly is Food Safety and why it is important.
What is Food Safety?
Food safety means how food is handled, prepared, and stored so as to minimize the danger of people getting sick from contaminated food.
Food safety is a worldwide issue that affects many aspects of daily life.
Food safety aims at preventing food from being contaminated. Food safety can be done in a variety of ways, including:
- Cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces, equipment, and utensils properly.
- Maintaining a high degree of personal hygiene, particularly when it comes to washing hands.
- Considering temperature, atmosphere, and utensils while storing, cooling, and heating food.
- Applying a proper pest control system.
- Having a proper understanding of food allergies, food poisoning, and food intolerance.
Why is Food Safety Important?
According to recent World Health Organization estimates, at least 600 million individuals across the globe get infected with foodborne diseases as a result of consuming contaminated food. Every year, at least 420,000 of these people lose their lives. As a result, economic development gets hampered and results in reduced production and increased medical costs.
Most of the food safety concerns are caused by pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria, which cause food poisoning. They can stimulate watery diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach ache, and even paralyzing infections and chronic disorders, which can range from moderate to deadly. Food safety concerns have the potential to be fatal for both food industry owners and customers.
Foods that are simple to prepare and eat might quickly get contaminated. Perishable foods including eggs, poultry, fresh fruits, raw meat or deli meats, deli seafood salads, undercooked seafood, ground beef, raw sprouts, and raw milk products are just a few examples of foods that can cause common diseases. If preventative steps are not taken, these ingredients may get contaminated by intestinal pathogens such as bacteria, resulting in illness. Mentioned herewith are some of the important reasons why food safety is important:
1.) Avoid Food Poisoning
One of the most important objectives of food safety is to protect the consumers from foodborne infections or illnesses caused by consuming contaminated food. As a result of poor food safety, foodborne infections are a huge danger to food industries and harm people all over the world. However, you can ensure that the food you serve is safe and that the risk of infection is low by following correct food safety procedures.
2.) Reduce Food Wastage
Food items that are found to be contaminated to eat must be discarded. A food firm must reduce waste by employing adequate food safety standards. Food safety management systems are also designed to detect and prevent food damage even before they reach the manufacturing house, which might result in additional waste if processed further.
3.) Better Lifestyle
Consumer productivity is impacted by any foodborne illness. Although consumers will be able to operate normally once infected, in severe situations, they may require hospitalization. These incidences cause major disruptions in daily routines. However, they can be avoided by adopting correct food safety procedures in both the food production units as well as at home.
4.) Environment-friendly Food Production techniques
Food production techniques that safeguard both the customer and the environment are part of good food safety measures. Food safety regulation regulates practices such as minimizing synthetic fertilizers that can leak into food. Furthermore, food safety measures involve the provision of safe drinking water as well as the reduction of air, sewage, and other environmental contaminants that have a significant impact on the ecosystem.
5.) Globalization of Safe Food
All food safety regulations are intended to protect customers from foodborne illnesses. Following these food safety standards ensures that your products are as competitive as possible, particularly in the fast-paced globalization of the food sector. Effective food safety management systems help in developing a bigger distribution channel for your food business.
In the food safety concept, each member of the food supply chain has a duty to perform. In the process, all jobs are critical and useful. Your function cannot be replaced, whether you are a food company owner, a government employee, or a customer. Everyone is responsible for food safety. Moreover, by following proper food safety and hygiene measures, the food items are protected from contamination. It ensures that the food produced by a food company is safe for people to eat.