When it comes to the food industry, sanitation is very important. Before we are serve that delicious meal whether at a 5-star restaurant or at home, the food encounters a myriad of pathways from farms to warehouses or directly to the market, supermarket, into the hands of sellers, our shopper’s bag then eventually on a plate before us. Read the article to learn more about the importance of sanitation in food industry.
At some point in life, I would assume as early as you could speak and walk or be able to repeat an action that was shown to you, cleanliness was instilled at home, at school, on television or in public places such as hospitals and clinics. We were taught, for example: to wash our hands after using the bathroom, before eating and even washing our fruits and vegetables before consumption. These are key points of food sanitation.
What is sanitation?
By definition, what is sanitation exactly? Well, according to the World Health Organization (W.H.O), “Sanitation refers to the maintenance of hygienic conditions, through services such as garbage collection and waste disposal. Inadequate sanitation is a major cause of disease world-wide and improving sanitation is known to have significant beneficial impact on health both in households and across communities."
Sanitation is a key component of food service safety, and it’s a responsibility that is accepted by any food service provider for his customers. Over the past decade, there has been a major improvement in sanitation across the world but most importantly in Nigeria. Some may question, why is sanitation so important and necessary? Sanitation is of utmost importance and necessity because it reduces contamination and promotes the well-being of equipment, workers, and customers.
In places like Ajegunle, Oshodi and Miletwo, Lagos, thanks to the workers of Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) public health standards are improving. LAWMA has made it easier for those in the food industry to dispose of their waste and practice clean hygiene thus reducing the chances of individuals becoming sick (resulting in, for example, pneumonia and diarrhoea-related diseases like cholera and dysentery) and getting food poisoning.
Do sanitation and hygiene go hand in hand?
Though sanitation is very important it must be accompanied by good hygienic practices and behaviour, which according to W.H.O are “conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases.” A few examples of hygienic practices in the food and beverage industry should be taken into consideration:
At some point in life, you would assume as early as you could speak and walk or be able to repeat an action that was shown to you, cleanliness was instilled at home, at school, on television or in public places such as hospitals and clinics. We were taught, for example: to wash our hands after using the bathroom, before eating and even washing our fruits and vegetables before consumption. These are key points of food sanitation.
• Pre-operational hygiene
• Operational hygiene
• Pest management
• Storage and distribution
In addition to hygienic practices, there are five key food safety principles and practices that must be followed according to WHO:
• Use clean water and raw materials.
• Separate raw and cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination.
• Prevent contaminating food with pathogens that may spread from people, pets, and pests.
• Cook food at the appropriate length of time and temperature to kill pathogens.
• Store food at the right temperature.
Seeing that the food industry provides goods and services for consumption, it is necessary for them to have their consumers’ interest at heart, beginning with hygiene and sanitation. So if you or someone you know are interested in this field, share this article with them so that it will help them on the road to their success or to make them better aware of the importance of sanitation in the food industry.
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