Food Safety in Manufacturing: Guidelines, Tips, & Best Practices

Food Safety in Manufacturing Guidelines, Tips, & Best Practices

Maintaining food safety in manufacturing is crucial to producing safe, high-quality food products for consumers. Numerous government and private organizations have set food safety guidelines that you must follow to keep the food free of contaminants and prevent costly product recalls. To ensure that your manufacturing food safety processes are effective, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

This article will discuss the guidelines set forth by the FDA and tips on effectively implementing food safety processes in your manufacturing organization. By following these guidelines and tips, you can help ensure the safety of the food you produce!

 

What is Food Safety in Manufacturing?

Food safety in manufacturing is the process of ensuring that food products are safe for human consumption. This process includes preventing foodborne illnesses, which can occur when food is contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or toxins. Food safety in manufacturing also includes ensuring that food products are not adulterated, which means that they do not contain harmful or undeclared ingredients.

Collaboration within the organization is key to maintaining food safety in manufacturing. Everyone from the receiving department to the delivery department plays a role in food safety. Therefore, it is important that everyone involved in food production understands food safety procedures and is committed to following them.

Preparation at every step of food production is also essential to food safety in manufacturing. This includes taking precautions to prevent food contamination, such as using clean utensils and surfaces, cooking food to the proper temperature, and storing food properly.

 

Food Safety Guidelines

Numerous food safety guidelines have been set forth by the government and private organizations. The food safety guidelines set forth by the FDA are some of the most important guidelines to follow in food manufacturing. Other food safety guidelines include those set by the World Health Organization, the United States Department of Agriculture, and private food safety certification organizations.

To help guide manufacturers, these food regulatory bodies have provided effective food safety regulations and standards. Among these are the following:

 

Cleaning and Sanitation

Every day, workers’ hands pick up various types of microorganisms. These microorganisms can contaminate food products if food contact surfaces are not cleaned and sanitized properly. To prevent this from happening, it is important to follow proper hygiene practices such as the following:

  • Washing hands before and after food handling and prepping.
  • Washing and sanitizing surfaces and equipment with hot, soapy water before and after use.
  • Rinsing fresh raw materials under cold, running water.
  • Every food preparation and production area should be free of pests like insects and other animals to avoid contamination.

For food manufacturing companies that involve slaughtering animals, the same standards apply; however, there are additional measures to consider, such as:

  • Using personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect against ongoing diseases caught from animals (e.g., Salmonella, E.coli, Avian Influenza).
  • Strictly following food safety guidelines to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Change clothes after the slaughtering process.
  • Remove animal feces and keep away from areas where food preparation, growing, and storage are done.

 

Proper Storing and Organization

Food contamination occurs at any stage of the food production process. Poor food handling practices can result in foodborne illnesses. That is why following proper storing and organization on the site is important. This process applies in all phases of food preparation. To prevent cross-contamination and other hazards, consider doing the following:

  • Keep food at the correct temperature. This means storing food at 40°F or below to prevent bacteria from growing.
  • Separate meats (pork, beef, poultry, seafood) from each other. Use separate utensils and equipment (e.g., knives and cutting boards).
  • Use clean containers with lids to avoid contact between raw, prepared, and cooked foods.

Another important thing to consider is the manner in which harmful substances are being kept. Store cleaning chemicals away from food and food-contact surfaces. The same goes for toxic ingredients such as raw meat and poultry.

 

Food Safety Temperatures

When it comes to food safety, food must be stored and cooked at the proper temperature to prevent foodborne illnesses. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), two things should be considered when it comes to food safety: safe cooking and storing temperatures. 

Cooking food at the right temperature can kill dangerous microorganisms such as listeria, salmonella, and other foodborne pathogens. The recommended food safety cooking temperatures are as follows:

  • Poultry, casserole, stuffing, leftovers, and reheated foods (165°F)
  • Egg dishes and ground meats (160°F)
  • Fresh pork, beef, lamb, veal, fish (with fins), and ham (145°F)
  • Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains for hot holding (135°F)

To keep food safe for consumption, the list below are general guidelines for cooking in safe temperatures: 

  • Use a food thermometer to check food safety temperatures.
  • Before cooking, thaw food in the refrigerator or microwave (not on the counter).
  • Cook food immediately after it has been thawed in the refrigerator.
  • Cook food to the recommended food safety temperature.
  • Do not leave food out of the refrigerator for more than two hours (one hour if the temperature is above 90°F).
  • Reheat food to the recommended food safety temperatures.

When refrigerating or chilling food, it’s important to reach and maintain certain temperatures to prevent the growth and spread of microorganisms. That’s why it’s important to become familiar with different food storage practices, such as the following:

  • Avoid leaving cooked or thawed food at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Freeze or refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours.
  • Thaw frozen food inside the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Avoid thawing on the counter to prevent bacteria from multiplying.
  • Check and maintain refrigerators and freezers regularly.

 

Use of Clean Water and Care Selection of Raw Materials

Water and ice may contain harmful microorganisms and chemicals. You can mitigate this by taking simple measures such as carefully selecting raw materials and ensuring water is safe before using it for food preparation. Below are some tips that you may consider in ensuring the safety of water:

  • Filtration, boiling, and chlorination
  • Covering tanks and other receptacles with netting to prevent insect breeding

 

Quality Checks

Quality checks should be done throughout food production, from raw materials to finished products. This helps ensure that foodborne hazards are identified and controlled at every step. To effectively do this, food manufacturers must have a food safety management system (FSMS).

A food safety management system is a set of processes and procedures that food manufacturers put in place to ensure food safety. It includes specifying food safety requirements, implementing food safety controls, and monitoring food safety procedures.

 

Tips To Implement Manufacturing Food Safety Processes

Here are some tips on how you can effectively implement food safety processes in your manufacturing facility:

 

Establish a Food Safety Team

Creating a food safety team is a good first step in implementing food safety processes in your manufacturing facility. The food safety team should be responsible for developing and overseeing the food safety management system.

The food safety team should be composed of representatives from different departments in the organization, including production, quality control, and food safety. This will ensure that food safety is given importance and attention across the organization.

 

Train Employees on Food Safety Procedures

Train employees on food safety procedures. Conduct training regularly to ensure that employees are up-to-date on the latest food safety practices.

Employees should be aware of food safety hazards and how to control them. They should also know what to do in a food safety incident. Conduct regular food safety audits to ensure employees follow food safety procedures.

 

Monitor Food Safety Procedures Regularly

Monitoring food safety procedures regularly is important to ensure they are followed properly. Regular food safety audits should be conducted to identify areas where food safety procedures are not followed. In addition, review food safety records regularly to ensure that food safety procedures are followed.

 

Monitor Impact and Review Implementation

It’s important to monitor the impact of food safety processes on the organization. This will help identify areas where food safety procedures are not followed. The food safety team should regularly review the food safety management system and make necessary changes.

 

Aim for Continuous Improvement

It is important to improve food safety processes continuously. You can do this by constantly reviewing and updating the food safety management system. In addition, food safety audits should be conducted regularly to identify areas where food safety procedures can be improved.

 

How DATAMYTE Can Help with Food Safety in Manufacturing

If you want to implement food safety processes in your manufacturing facility, you should consider using DATAMYTE. The DataMyte Digital Clipboard is a powerful workflow automation software capable of streamlining and implementing food safety processes in food manufacturing. 

With the DataMyte Digital Clipboard, you can:

  • Proactively capture issues: Create a mobile app using our drag-and-drop interface to monitor food safety and record potential food hazards. Add photos of the hazard for a more comprehensive audit report.
  • Assign tasks instantly: Automatically assign food safety tasks to the responsible party for corrective actions.
  • Monitor food safety KPIs: Track food safety metrics in real-time to identify issues early and prevent food safety incidents.
  • Get comprehensive reports: Generate food safety reports that can be used to improve food safety processes.
  • Create custom digital checklists and forms: Use our drag-and-drop interface to create custom food safety checklists and forms that will be relevant to your food manufacturing process.

With the DataMyte Digital Clipboard, you have an all-in-one solution to streamline food safety in your manufacturing facility. Schedule a demo today to see how we can help you improve food safety in your organization.

 

Conclusion

Food safety in manufacturing is crucial to the success of a food manufacturing business. It entails a concerted effort and commitment to following food safety processes by all those involved in food production. Following the food safety guidelines, tips, and best practices outlined in this article can effectively implement food safety processes in your organization.

 

 

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