A food safety hazard is any agent could cause adverse health consequences for consumers. When food is exposed to hazardous agents , it leads to contamination of food, thereby resulting in what is known as a Food Safety Hazard. These hazards may be biological, chemical, physical, allergenic, nutritional and/or biotechnological.
Elaborating on the food safety hazards , we classify them as follows:
1. Biological Hazards
These are caused by microbes (such as bacteria, viruses) or parasites that are present in air, food, water, soil, animals and humans.
These microbes cause contamination of food which causes severe vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal pain and fever, or even result in death.
Other disease causing microbes include Salmonella species, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella, Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium botulinum, Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter, Hepatitis A and Rotovirus.
2. Physical Hazards
These are caused by foreign bodies in food, usually due to accidental contamination and / or poor handling practices. These include Metal, glass, wood, insects, stones, soil, dirt, jewellery, hair, fingernails, plasters, personal items, bone, nuts / bolts, wire, plastic, paper and cardboard that can be easily seen in the food.
3. Chemical Hazards
These include residues from chemicals used for cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces, or contaminants from factory such as pest control chemicals, lubricants, coatings, paints, refrigerants and water treatment chemicals
Apart from these, there are toxins that occur naturally such as Mycotoxins, scombrotoxin (histamine), mushroom toxins and shellfish toxins that can lead to food safety hazards.
Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) systems help control food safety hazards . An HACCP plan helps identify potential food safety hazards that can occur during food production. Once these pain points are recognized, implementing control measures to reduce or eliminate food safety hazards becomes easier.
This Food Safety Month 2016 (7th April to 7th May 2016) get loads of information on how to maintain Food Safety. The campaign aims to convey the message of healthy eating and storage practices.
Learn about food safety, participate and win exciting prices ! Hurry now to get your share of information with fun!