Hygiene in Food and Beverage Manufacturing
Hygiene in Food and Beverage Manufacturing – WHY?
Hygiene in food and beverage production ensures that food and beverage products are fit for human consumption. This means that food and beverages are free from levels of hazardous contaminants that could present an unacceptable risk to human health. These include:
- microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, parasites and moulds
- toxins or metabolites produced by microorganisms
- chemical residues e.g. from cleaning and sanitising agents, agricultural chemicals and veterinary drugs
- physical foreign matter
The vast majority of food borne illness is caused by pathogenic microorganisms.
The effects of food borne illness can range from unpleasant to fatal. Hygiene in food and beverage production aims to prevent the introduction of contaminants, and the spread and multiplication of microorganisms during the production process.
Food hygiene also helps prevent food spoilage, thus protecting against wastage and negative economic consequences for food producers.
Hygiene in Food and Beverage Manufacturing – HOW?
Because of the vital importance of hygiene in food and beverage production, it is not good enough to leave the effectiveness of food safety measures to chance. Rather, it is necessary that a system of identifying and controlling potential food safety hazards in food production be established.
The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system (HACCP) is one widely adopted risk management methodology for the identification and control of food safety hazards. The core elements of HACCP are also embodied in the Australia New Zealand Food Standard 3.2.1 - Food Safety Programs, and include:
- Identification of potential hazards
- Identification of steps that are critical for hazard control
- Implementation of control procedures for these steps
- Systematic monitoring of controls implementation and effectiveness
- Review of control procedures
- Record keeping
Some examples of hygienic practices in food and beverage production are summarised below: