It is estimated that total global revenues from the food industry reached $8.76 trillion in 2022 and the forecast is one of continued growth. From food production factories to restaurants, hotels, and bars, the food industry operates on a variety of industrial, commercial, and retail fronts. As a result of the continued mechanization and automation of factories that produce food and beverages, an immense volume of consumable products can be made during a working shift. Whilst this mechanization is not present to the same degree in kitchens and restaurants, with the standardization of food preparation and having specialist chefs and serving staff, many large establishments can serve food to hundreds of people during a working day. It is of paramount importance that all facets of the food industry operate to exceptionally high standards of hygiene and sanitation. In this article, three ways in which the food industry ensures that its products are safe for human consumption will be explored in detail.
Hygienic Production Lines
In a factory environment that produces a high volume of food, ingredients or beverages, hygienic facilities are vital to ensure safe products. A range of sanitary pumps will be used to move liquid food products from point to point in the chain of production. Often, these parts of machinery will be made from materials such as stainless steel to ensure that the food products remain free of contamination. On the production line itself, workers will wear a range of clothing that is designed to keep the food free of any contaminates. Disposable gloves and hair masks are common pieces of work wear for all factories involved in the production of food and beverages. Workers will adhere to strict hygiene practices such as sanitizing their hands after a lunch break and all work wear will be either cleaned or disposed of after each shift. These strict precautions ensure that food production lines are clean and safe.
Restaurants and Kitchen Environments
The restaurant and hospitality sector uses a wide variety of standard procedures to ensure that the food prepared and served to customers is to the highest quality standards and poses no threat to human health. One example of safe working in a kitchen environment is to keep raw and cooked foods separate from each other. Large fridges and food preparation areas will have dedicated space for both raw and cooked ingredients. This practice helps to minimize the risks of cross-contamination in food storage and food preparation. At the end of any food service session, a hotel, bar or restaurant will routinely sanitize all the food preparation, cooking and storage areas in their kitchen. This helps to ensure that the environment is free of germs and bacteria.
Effective Staff Training
As a final point, one key ingredient in any safe and hygienic food production or preparation area is having staff who are comprehensively trained in food safety. From chefs in hotels to factory workers, all will have received mandatory training relating to health, hygiene, and food safety in general. This training is often given to new starters in the food industry as part of the onboarding process. Many food preparations or production facilities will have an annual program of staff training that includes topics such as food safety and hygienic food handling practices. Regular annual training ensures that all staff have the latest knowledge on best practices in their field of the food industry and that this knowledge is used in their daily tasks without being forgotten.
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