guide books forwards
Personal hygiene is the major challenge responsible for failure of most food businesses in developing countries, to meet the criteria for producing safe food. Management of food businesses tend to over look this major challenge resulting in to loss of business due to food poisoning, customer dissatisfaction and sometimes closure of business by authorities because of poor hygiene. Operators of food businesses may not know that simple behaviors such as hand washing, enforcing a dressing code and fullness health of workers impact on the safety of food in large measure to save businesses large sums of money. It is important to know that these behaviors and actions by businesses are part of technical strategies to implement good practices that ensure that food is safe for human consumption. The book is aimed to guide food businesses to be effective in securing the food through ensuring proper personal hygiene. It offers practical steps to follow and knowledge needed to implement personal hygiene more effectively.
The environment and facilities where food is produced, transported, stored, prepared and served play a great role in ensuring it is safe at the time of consumption. If the environment and facilities where the food is handled is not well managed, the food is likely to be affected by contamination agents (hazards) that spoil food and render it unfit for human consumption. When this occurs we talk of food poisoning. There are two scenarios where food spoiling agents (hazards) occur. When food is handled or kept in temperature danger zone, i.e. temperature that is not cold enough to halt micro-organisms growth or not hot enough to kill them. Also food hazards can enter food through cross- contamination with dirt, chemicals, and physical matter such as soil, hair, glass, etc. This normally occurs through cross-contamination. There are two ways by which these sources of contamination can be controlled, i.e. temperature control and separation of food from potentially contaminated matter; which are the subject of food hygiene explained in this book. Food hygiene sounds simple to most people and seems obvious to food business operators, but it is not usually understood. In effect, it is a technical operation meant to control the effect of environment and facilities where food is handled to eliminate the possibility of food spoiling agents (hazards) contaminating food. Businesses stand to lose their resources if they do not have good knowledge of food hygiene. This is so because, once food hygiene is not well understood business will spend on hygiene without reducing food hazards in the food which is a disastrous effect to someone keen to produce safe food. This book gives the operators the basic guides to optimizing the implementation of food hygiene.
Cleaning and sanitation
There is a misconception about cleaning in food business operations. Cleaning is misconstrued to be a traditional process aimed at creating visually accommodative atmosphere by clearing the area of visible dirt and unwanted matter. However, in food business operations, cleaning is a technical activity aimed at removing all potential food spoiling agents (hazards) and their sources from food handling surfaces, equipment, items and utensils. It also aims to remove food hazards and their potential sources from the environments where food is produced such as walls, floors, drainage channels so that hazards do not return to food through cross- contamination. Cleaning, once not properly managed can be expensive and without yet resulting in reduction of food hazards on the food contact surfaces, or environment. There is tendency to use too much water, cleaning agents, such as soap, sanitizers and labor in effort to effect cleaning. This sometimes does not necessarily lead to attainment of thorough cleaning results. Cost effectiveness of cleaning requires, that certain technical consideration and steps are followed in planning, preparations, and undertaking of cleaning as well as monitoring and supervision of cleaning and sanitation management. This book is aimed to guide the operators of food businesses on how to manage the entire cleaning operation in a cost effective manner.
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) concept has been misunderstood by mainly food operators in developing countries as an approach that brings complex sophiscation in the industry; hence it is considered by most food business operators to be another sources of unnecessary cost that increases the cost of doing business. This is a complete misconception given that HACCP by its nature was established to reduce expenditure on food safety management by targeting resources to areas that optimally objectively impact on safety of food. HACCP provides flexibility in the manner food safety is managed and can be implemented at different extents and in any category of establishments. HACCP therefore is supposed to revolutionalise the way food enterprises operate to reap benefits. Generally, there has been a misbelief especially in the developing countries about HACCP; mainly due to lack of knowledge and understanding of what HACCP is, how it is implemented and its benefits to food businesses. This has led to low implementation of HACCP with fear that it is expensive. This has resulted in retarded growth and loss of business in most enterprises which HACCP aims to address in the first place. This book guides the operators on simplification and optimization of HACCP implementation in the business operation.
Food in developing countries is vulnerable to contamination by food spoiling agents (food hazards) that render it unsafe for human consumption. Some of the factors that contribute to this vulnerability include; the warm conditions in tropical regions that increase chances of microbial growth on food; high levels of pollution and environmental degradation that increase presence of food contaminants in air, soil, and water; traditions and cultures among poor communities in developing countries where food safety is considered less a priority; low level of development that leads to poor infrastructure for production, handling, processing, transport and storage of food; and low level of scientific base in developing countries leading to lack of skills and knowledge on how to manage food safety. Because of the above factors, the value chains for most commodities in developing countries are plagued with several challenges that render food potentially unsafe. Much of the food contamination occurs due to lack of awareness of the sources of food spoiling agents, hazards and their effects on health and business and how they can be managed using simple available means. This book aims to guide operators of businesses handling or dealing in major food commodities growing in the tropical regions on how best to improve on safety of food stuffs using means available in their localities.