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< prev - next > Food processing Food Hygiene and Safety KnO 100260_Making safe food (Printable PDF)
Food is one of the few commodities that people actually take into their bodies and so when you
produce food for sale you have a special responsibility not to hurt or injure your customers. The
main ways in which a producer can harm consumers are by selling food that:
contains poisonous materials
contains bacteria or moulds or the poisons they produce
contains glass or other contaminants that could cause harm if eaten.
Safe food can be produced by careful attention to hygiene and by good quality control during
production, storage and distribution.
Good hygiene means careful attention to the cleanliness of:
the building
the processing equipment and
personal hygiene of food handlers.
This will prevent bacteria which are present in the building or on equipment and food handlers,
from growing in the food.
Good quality control means careful attention to:
selection of good quality raw materials and the correct recipe
correct processing conditions such as the temperature and time of heating
prevention of contaminating materials such as dirt, metal and stones from becoming
mixed with the food
use of packaging materials to protect the food after processing
control of storage conditions to stop the food becoming infected after processing.
This will ensure that only wholesome food is produced without contaminants. Any bacteria in the
raw materials will be destroyed or controlled at a safe level and prevented from growing during
In most countries the laws on foods are designed to protect customers against poisoning and
injury. They are also intended to stop customers from being cheated or confused by incorrect or
misleading labels. Typically laws cover hygiene, the amount and type of food in a package and
the quality of specific foods, for example, the amount of fruit in jam or meat in a pie.
In general foods such as meat products, fish, seafood and dairy products have a higher risk of
food poisoning and need more careful control over hygiene than other foods. These high-risk
products usually have laws which are more strict than for other products.
Each country may have a different name for the laws concerned with food hygiene, production
and packaging. Readers are advised to contact their local Bureau of Standards, Ministry of
Health or other relevant government department to obtain full details of the specific laws of their
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