Food business comprises of innumerable variables. Good Manufacturing Practices may form the core of a food industry but does comprise of different aspects, ranging widely from an individual to transport and site locations. It’s all put to test during food inspection. Quite contrary to the expected norms, during food inspection, a Food Inspector checks not just the food quality, raw materials and cleanliness, but might throw a series of questions regarding simple basics of storage facilities and area, types of utensils used, to a tricky round about post-manufacturing procedures with it’s impact on global and environment level. Failure to produce the necessary documents or failure to put forth the necessary answers may have a deleterious effect on the business.
Successful food entrepreneurs owe their limelight, to not just good food, but also effective planning, management and putting into action these easy-to-miss factors.
So if you are planning to enter into food business or have one already, a quick go-through below given information for step-by-step implementation will help your business grow.
1) Location, layout and construction of premises:
A well-planned food service area is a prerequisite for maintaining high standards of sanitation. Premises should be planned to facilitate cleaning; all equipment should be designed and arranged to prevent accumulation of soil and, thereby, contamination of food. Aeration becomes pivotal, citing both health of people involved and shelf life of food products.
2) Equipment, furniture and fixtures:
Equipment, utensils and all food contact surfaces should be smooth, easy to clean, durable, non-toxic, non-absorbent, corrosion resistant and well maintained. They should be able to withstand continuous contact with food, water, cleaning agents, sanitizers and heat.
3) Food storage:
All food businesses, irrespective of the volume handled, should have adequate control facilities to protect food from any kind of spoilage. Temperature controlled storage facilities include dry food stores, refrigerated stores and deep freezers. Appropriate humidity, ventilation and light intensity is a must for prevention of any micro-organism growth. Storage space required depends on quantity purchased.
4) Cleaning procedures:
Proper procedures must be followed to clean and sanitize dishes and equipment in the kitchen and service area. It enables the food business operator to prepare and serve food in a clean and hygienic manner. A cleaning schedule for all areas and departments should be planned to maintain uncontaminated surroundings.
5) Pest control:
Pests have been a nuisance to mankind from time immemorial. With the advancement of science, there is now a better understanding of the various sanitary practices, chemical treatment and better facilities to enable effective pest control. A vigilant food service worker can play an important role in protecting food from contamination and wastage to maintain the reputation and credibility of the catering establishment. Proper understanding of why, how and when pest control measures are needed is imperative.
6) Water supply:
Water is the lifeline of any food business. The purpose of serving delicious, nutritious food prepared under hygienic conditions is totally lost if the water used in preparations is contaminated. Unavailability of pure water, not just for consumption, but for cleaning as well, results in ill health.
7) Disposal of waste:
Cleanliness and sanitation of food establishments and premises encompasses maintenance of clean, well sanitized surfaces of all equipment in contact with food, good housekeeping practices and adequate treatment and disposal of wastes. Organic techniques like biogas generation plants may form an excellent alternative depending upon the location.
8) Environmental pollution:
Environmental pollution, refers, but not limited, to contamination of air, water and land. The slow destruction of nature will ultimately result in ill-health, barren lands due to prevailing foul odor, harmful gases and untreated water. Effective measures taken to curb the above hazards are a must to ensure smooth functioning with government inspection bodies and help global betterment on a larger scale.
9) Personal hygiene:
Microorganisms live in and on the human body. Those that cause food – borne illnesses are present on the skin, in the nose, throat and in the gastrointestinal tract. A chain of events leads to the human forming a bridge between the harmful bacteria and the food, directly or indirectly. Once transmitted, the organisms multiply exponentially in the food, ultimately lowering the standard of living of the population consuming the same.
Documentation forms the core with the above domains at its circumference. A correct, updated, well-maintained documents ensures quick functioning and grant of permissions. A good credibility, thereby, facilitates good returns in the business.
FDA, FSSAI, NABL are most notable authorities directly and indirectly involves in assessment of food quality. The gravity of the situation is such that if a food business or service is found not abiding by the set rules and standards, they can be shut down indefinitely, with trials conducted on those violating the same. Food inspections are pivotal, not just for the companies, but for people as well. At Equinox, we adhere to testing as per the updated rules and laws with special focus on ways to improve the quality of the product. Immaculate testing techniques and results have gained us immense confidence of our esteemed customers and clients.
A small price for long term growth, these factors should be well thought, implemented and regularly taken care of.