Food protection refers to procedures for preparing, handling, and storing food that is designed to avoid food borne illnesses and injuries. During their journey from farm to factory to fork, food products can come into contact with a variety of health hazards.
To reduce these risks and protect customers, safe food handling practices and procedures are enforced at any point of the food processing life cycle.
Food is one of the most traded commodities on the planet. With each progressing year, markets become more globalized, and the population of the world continues to expand, the global food supply chain can only increase in size and complexity.
Food safety enforcement has never been more critical than it is now, thanks to these megatrends affecting the mass processing and distribution of food.
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Every nation has its regulatory bodies in charge of defining and enforcing local food safety regulations. Domestic and foreign companies alike are subject to the food safety regulations and compliance measures of any specific country to market or produce food products.
HACCP and GMP are two principles that underpin the majority of food safety laws around the world.
· HACCP- Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a risk-based method for avoiding microbial, chemical, and physical contamination of food in manufacturing, packaging, and supply. Rather than inspecting food products for dangers after they have occurred, the HACCP concept is intended to prevent health hazards by detecting possible food safety issues before they occur. Regulating for pollutants at a variety of key junctures throughout the food production phase, as well as strict adherence to hygiene standards throughout, is part of the HACCP function.
· GMP- Good Manufacturing Practices
Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) are quality control standards for the manufacture of food, drinks, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, nutritional supplements, and medical devices that are globally recognized. These guidelines outline the procedures that producers must follow to ensure that their goods are consistently high-quality and approved for human consumption from batch – to – batch, including compulsory quality testing at critical control points.
· Who is Responsible for Enforcing Food Safety Standards?
Every country identifies and develops its food safety laws and compliance procedures, which may differ from country to country and locally from region to region. Introducing a food commodity to a foreign market necessitates adherence to that country’s food safety and consumer protection regulations, as well as those of its regional governments.
- Below are 7 key elements of a safe food supply chain:
- Corporate responsibility
- The precautionary principle
- Official food control
- Independent scientific risk assessment
- Transparent risk communication
- Separation of risk assessment and risk management.
If an effective food safety policy is not implemented, contaminated products can reach the food chain. Food companies face significant delays in their activities once a faulty product is found, as they handle and bear the cost of product recalls.