4.0 Scope – Chapter 4 of this Manual is intended to provide inspectors with information on the various types of hazards as they relate to food safety. A food safety hazard refers to any agent with the potential to cause adverse health consequences for consumers.
- Food safety hazards occur when food is exposed to hazardous agents which result in contamination of that food.
- Food hazards may be biological, chemical, physical, allergenic, nutritional and/or biotechnology-related.
- Hazards may be introduced into the food supply any time during harvesting, formulation and processing, packaging and labelling, transportation, storage, preparation, and serving.
For more information on Food Hazards, see the Reference Database for Hazard Identification (This document is intended for internal use. CFIA staff can access this document using RDIMS number 974917).
- 1 What are the examples of food safety hazards?
- 2 What is a food hazard vs food risk?
- 3 What is not a food safety hazard?
- 4 What is the most common hazard?
What are the examples of food safety hazards?
Physical Hazards – Physical hazards usually result from accidental contamination and /or poor food handling practices. Examples include, slivers of glass, human hair, nails, false nails, nail polish, pieces of jewelry, metal fragments from worn or chipped utensils and containers, dirt, stones, frilled toothpicks.
Pesticides may leave residues on fruits and vegetables. In general, these residues can be removed by scrubbing the surface and washing with water. Food irradiation is classified as a food additive and is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Irradiation is a process which destroys pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms without compromising safety, nutrition or quality and significantly lengthens storage life.
In general, spices are irradiated as a means of controlling bacterial growth and mold. According to Dr. Donald Thayer of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, irradiation looks promising as a treatment for controlling cylospora in fresh produce like raspberries, Copyright © 2023 University of Rhode Island.
What is a food hazard vs food risk?
In the context of food safety, a ‘hazard’ can be classified as a substance or agent present in food that has the ability or the potential to cause an adverse health effect to the consumer. The substance can be a biological, chemical or physical agent.
What is the most common food safety hazard?
Biological hazards – Biological hazards are food safety contaminants that originate from living organisms that include pathogenic bacteria, fungi, yeasts, viruses, and parasites, These hazards can significantly affect the health of the public by causing foodborne illnesses that can range from mild to very severe.
- They are different from beneficial microorganisms used in fermentation or as probiotics.
- Biological hazards may also include natural toxins produced by these pathogens.
- Biological hazards are the most common causes of outbreaks in the food industry.
- Food safety hazards such as bacteria and viruses can easily be transferred to food from cross-contamination,
These hazards are also dependent on factors surrounding the host food such as:
Temperature Presence of oxygen pH (acidity or alkalinity) The nutritional content of foods Water activity or Moisture level
Depending on the presence of these factors, the surviving microbiological hazards may vary. Some dangerous pathogens such as the Clostridium botulinum, which is known for its potency to kill consumers, can only survive in conditions without oxygen and low acidity such as in canned goods.
What is not a food safety hazard?
Food poisoning microorganisms – Many microorganisms are responsible for food poisoning and far too many to mention in this course. It is usually caused by bacteria and viruses, for example:
Salmonella – These bacteria that are found in a wide variety of foods, e.g. undercooked meat & poultry, unpasteurised milk, cheese and undercooked eggs. It can cause an infection known as salmonellosis. These bacteria are responsible for most food poisoning cases. Escherichia coli (E.coli) – These bacteria are found in undercooked beef, contaminated water, unpasteurised drinks, dairy and raw fruits/vegetables.E. coli O157: H7 is particularly dangerous, as it can also produce a toxin. Listeria monocytogenes – These bacteria are found in raw milk, salad, ready-to-eat foods, raw/undercooked meat, poultry and seafood. They can cause listeriosis, which is a serious infection. Norovirus – This is a virus that is also known as the winter vomiting bug. It is spread by humans to food and drinks, usually through poor hygiene practices. It is found in shellfish, leafy vegetables, fruit and ready-to-eat foods. Campylobacter – These bacteria are found in raw or undercooked poultry, unpasteurised dairy products and untreated water. They can cause an infection known as campylobacteriosis. Clostridium perfringens – These bacteria are common in the environment. They are typically found in beef, poultry, casseroles and gravies.
Some bacteria also produce spores, such as Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens, These spores can survive cooking temperatures, which can increase the risk of food poisoning. Food poisoning from parasites is much rarer than food poisoning caused by bacteria and viruses.
- It is more common where people travel to developing countries.
- However, if it does occur, it can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening.
- Parasites enter the body via contaminated food.
- Once in the body, they take nutrients from the host to grow and reproduce.
- Parasites are present in the environment (water and soil), animals and humans.
They can be transferred to food and are typically found in undercooked meat, poultry, fish and seafood, raw salad and vegetables contaminated with human and animal faeces. Parasite contamination is usually as a result of poor hygiene practices and contaminated ingredients.
Fungi such as yeasts and moulds are microorganisms, but they are not classed as a biological hazard in food. They are responsible for food spoilage, but generally do not make food unsafe to eat. However, some types of fungi do produce hazardous toxins, which is dangerous as it can result in intoxication.
These toxins are classed as chemical hazards. Chemicals are substances that can be naturally occurring or they can be human-made. They are sometimes intentionally added to our food for taste and preservation purposes, e.g. sodium nitrates and sulphites.
- Some chemicals can also be unintentionally added, which can contaminate the food we eat.
- These can include dangerous hazardous substances, toxins and excess chemicals used in food processing.
- Sometimes allergens are also classed as chemical hazards, but you will look at this as a separate group later in the unit.
Eating food that is contaminated with chemicals can result in immediate harm to the consumer or can cause long-term health effects if they are exposed to it over time. Some examples of chemical hazards are (this list is not exhaustive): These are naturally occurring chemical hazards that are produced by animals, plants and microorganisms.
Mycotoxins – Produced by fungi. Aflatoxins – Found in peanuts, tree nuts and corn. Ochratoxins – Found in vine fruits such as currants, raisins and sultanas. Marine toxins – Found in fish and shellfish. Natural toxins – Produced by plants, e.g. glycoalkaloids in potatoes. Bacterial toxins – Produced by bacteria such as E.coil O157.
What are physical hazards examples?
The Young Workers Zone Why do we worry about energy exposure? Have you ever been exposed to energy? If I punch you it hurts because you are exposed to energy. If you fall from a ladder you are a victim of gravitational energy. How many of you have watched astronauts in a space ship? They don’t fall because they are not pulled down by energy.
- Energy can enter our body.
- It can enter through our skin (heat, cold, vibration, radiation, electric shock), through our ears (noise, music, shouting), or through our eyes (light, lasers, sunlight).
- Excessive energy exposure can cause pain and injury.
- If exposure occurs day after day, we may develop a disease and possibly a disability.
Physical hazards include exposure to slips, trips, falls, electricity, noise, vibration, radiation, heat, cold and fire. The following table summarizes the sources of physical hazard exposure and their health effects.
Why is food safety hazard important?
Why Is Food Safety Important? Food safety is one of the most important parts of running a restaurant, catering company, or any other food service establishment. Health inspectors make sure that everything is up to code and safe for people to eat. If you’re a chef, it’s your responsibility to know what foods are allowed in your area and how long they can be stored before they go bad.
- Most team leaders should understand and be able to explain what makes handling and processing unsafe.
- But food safety should not be treated as common sense; a facility can only reach it through procedures, training, and constant monitoring.
- The consequences of improper food safety can be far-reaching and jeopardize the health of consumers.
Add a header to begin generating the table of contents is crucial to protect consumers from health risks related to common allergens and foodborne illnesses. In and of itself, this is a good enough goal to reach using proper processing and handling procedures, but there are other reasons, too.
- Safe food products shield companies and stakeholders from costly penalties and legal action.
- Fines and legal consequences could close down a facility and even bankrupt a company.
- Facilities can achieve sufficient food safety measures by providing training and education to everyone who handles ingredients in a food business.
Carefully following these measures is essential to the protection of your customers from food poisoning, allergic reactions, and other health risks that can result from contaminated food. Many factors affect the processing of safe food, and these factors span the entire process from picking to processing to packaging.
- These include agricultural practices, worker practices, the use of preventive controls during processing and preparation of the food, the use of the chemical materials, how close raw ingredients and water are to each other, and storage.
- At every stage, hygiene is the necessary component for proper standards.
The hygienic quality of the product can be negatively impacted by poor storage, storing raw and cooked foods together, and when ingredients are prepared, cooked and stored using incorrect methods. Foodborne illnesses are an underreported public health issue.
These illnesses, sometimes called food poisoning, can be a burden on public health. An estimated 4 million Canadians contract a foodborne illness every year, though many of these problems go unreported. While the majority of people handle these health problems with relative ease, around 11,000 of them end up in the hospital, and more than 200 people die each year as a result of foodborne illnesses.
More serious and immediate problems are allergens. Each year, about 3,500 Canadians are hospitalized for anaphylactic shock related to food allergens. Research shows that most of these allergic reactions occur outside the home, which makes it a larger problem for restaurants than for food processors.
- However, making consumers aware of the potential for a food product’s contact with allergens is necessary.
- Facilities that prepare and handle food can make foodborne illnesses and allergen cross-contamination preventable by following specific guidelines to their processes and by bringing in third-party companies to assess their food safety procedures.
Having systems and methods that protect food is incredibly important. Consumers can be made aware of the potential for allergens to come into contact with the product; foodborne illnesses, however, are always accidental. They occur when a food is contaminated with harmful microorganisms, and the most common of these are pathogenic bacteria like E.
- Coli, Listeria, and Salmonella,
- Foods that have the potential to carry these bacteria must be handled, cleaned, and cooked properly, with the surfaces and utensils that come into contact with them disinfected.
- Other potential risks come when viruses like noroviruses and Hepatitis A come into contact with the food.
The symptoms of a foodborne illness include nausea, stomach pain or cramping, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, headaches, and fever. The severity of these symptoms can vary depending on the type of bacterial or viral infection and the health of the consumer.
The only way to ensure the sale of safe food and the prevention of food poisoning is ensuring that everyone who handles and works in the facility understands the food safety procedures in their facility. They must understand how food can become contaminated in the first place, the different types of food contamination, and which foods are high-risk (raw meat and poultry, unwashed vegetables, etc.).
The procedures must explain to everyone how to safely store, refrigerate, thaw, and prepare food, how to effectively clean and sanitize surfaces, equipment, and utensils, and understand why personal hygiene and appropriate workplace behaviour are necessary for food safety, too.
- While the principles are the same, procedures are not the same for every company.
- You must have a system that is customized to the size and layout of the facility, the type of ingredients handled, stored, and processed, and the final food product.
- A solution designed for your company starts with a third-party GAP assessment of your processes to see the weaknesses on which you can improve.
Quantum Food Solutions has experts with a wealth of knowledge who can conduct a GAP assessment for your facility. It is important to have food safety knowledge for a number of reasons. Firstly, it can be the difference between illness and health; in some cases, the difference between life and death.
- Secondly, it will help you to avoid legal troubles when selling your products or making food for others.
- Food safety and hygiene are important because they protect one of the most essential aspects of life: food.
- Food is a basic human need, and it’s our responsibility to make sure that there is enough to go around for everyone.
Food-borne illnesses can be fatal, so we should all try our best not to get sick from eating contaminated or spoiled food. It’s also important to clean up after ourselves when preparing food in order to avoid cross contamination with other foods. : Why Is Food Safety Important?
Why is it important to identify food hazards?
AGM Quality & Food Safety HEAD * ISO 9001Cert, *FSMS ISO 22000 Cert. Lead Auditor/Implementer- CQI, IRCA.* EMS Auditor, SMETA -Sedex Audit implementer, Business Data Analytics – Published Jan 3, 2017 HOW TO IDENTIFY FOOD SAFETY HAZARDS The identification and control of food hazards forms the foundation of every HACCP Program. The most horrible case scenarios for not identifying and controlling food hazards sufficiently are food poisoning outbreaks, product recalls and very awful media coverage.
- So how do you logically identify food safety hazards in your business? Here are a few to get you underway.
- 1) Review your customer complaints(FREQUENCY OF COMPLAINTS) Have a look at what your customers are complaining about.
- If they complain about the same things all the time it really means that you have failed to fix the problem and identify the root cause of the issue.
(2) Look at business history( BACKGROUND HISTORY) Talk to people who have worked in the business for a long period of time. There may be memories of things going wrong or issues that contributed to them having a really bad day. (3) Talk to staff( INTERNAL CUSTOMERS VIEW) Some of your employees may have worked for in previous food businesses and can recall things that went wrong or “hazards”.
- 4) Access Government Public Databases(DATA DOCUMMENTATION) Researching the detail of these listings should tell you what the hazards area.
- 5) Research industry based journals and technical information( TECHNICAL INFO) Support industry bodies can be a good source in identifying issues that face your industry as a whole.
Scientific information around food poisoning hazards is available from your testing laboratories, public health departments of government and universities. I suggest STRONGLY you do a brain-storming activity with your HACCP team and come up with as many hazards as you can.
How do you identify a hazard in HACCP?
A. Hazard Identification – During the hazard identification stage, the HACCP team should critically examine all elements within the scope of hazard analysis by listing all potential biological, chemical, and physical hazards associated with each material, ingredient, activity or step used in the food processing and handling system.
How many food hazards are there?
Food Safety Hazards – There are four primary categories of food safety hazards to consider: biological, chemical, physical, and allergenic. Understanding the risks associated with each can dramatically reduce the potential of a foodborne illness. Each have their own unique characteristics, but all can be avoided through a robust food safety management system (FSMS),
What are the 5 basic food safety?
The core messages of the Five Keys to Safer Food are: (1) keep clean; (2) separate raw and cooked; (3) cook thoroughly; (4) keep food at safe temperatures; and (5) use safe water and raw materials.
What is the most common hazard?
What are the most common home safety hazards? Being aware of hazards within your home is the first step to preventing them. Some of the most common hazards at home include fire, poisoning and allergies. There may also be risks posed by your home’s contents, such as falls, choking, cuts and burns.
- Your home is your castle.
- So it’s important to understand and minimise common safety hazards.
- Here are a few ways to reduce the risk of fire at home:
- Always pay full attention when cooking.
- Regularly inspect your chimney and electrical systems, and always ensure you have working smoke alarms in the house.
- Poisoning is another common safety hazard at home.
- Things like carbon monoxide poisoning from fossil fuel burning appliances, ingesting cleaning supplies, or medications could affect you or your family.
- To mitigate the risk of poisoning install a carbon monoxide detector and keep chemicals and medications away from children.
Water can be hazardous for everyone. But it is especially so for little people.
- It only takes 20 seconds for a toddler to drown so it’s important to supervise young children around water at all times.
- If you haven’t already, install a fence or a barrier around pools and spas for extra protection.
- This is by no means an exhaustive list.
- Be sure to do your own research and conduct a risk assessment of your home.
- And for extra cover in an insured event like a fire consider GIO Home and Contents Insurance.
Fires at home can be highly dangerous, not only to your property but also to you and the people you live with. Be sure to have working smoke alarms in the house tested regularly, and a fire plan with safety protocols in place. To reduce the risk of home fire, it’s important to:
- reduce flammable clutter, such as old boxes or paper
- never leave cooking unattended
- maintain any fireplaces and chimneys, with regular inspections from a professional, and
- assess electrical systems, and seek the assistance of an electrician if you notice frayed or loose wires.
Having adequate home and contents insurance could help cover your property if it’s affected by an accidental fire, including bushfire (among other features and benefits!). GIO offers three levels of Home and Contents Insurance cover, so you can choose the policy that’s right for you.
What are the 5 main food hazards?
5 food safety hazards.and how to prevent them Photo Disclaimer: The images shown are representative of various points made in this article and are not actual operations in a ConAgra facility. Packaging is the last step between processing ready-to-eat (RTE) foods and the consumer.
As such, everything that happens in and around the packaging step is critical to providing consumers with safe food. So we concentrate on areas where packaging occurs in contact with the food—known as the “Product Zone.” In considering what constitutes the product zone, packaging machinery specifications can help maximize food safety for our consumers.
Specifications need to clearly explain to equipment vendors what is required from a food safety point of view. Touch points The impact of regulations is changing how food packagers look at sanitary design criteria. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is beginning to blur some of the boundaries between washdown and non-washdown areas.
- Previously, washdown was a specific set of criteria in a specific area.
- Packaging of dry produced goods was not often considered for washdown clean up.
- But as we look at FSMA, a hazards analysis shows those points where all contaminations can potentially come from—and that’s not necessarily just from a product-contact surface.
Current industry practice is to focus on the product-contact surface. Where does the food touch? What does it touch? How does it get there? Contaminations may potentially enter from many other points than just the product-contact surface. So the product zone is now where we’re driving our definitions for specification.
- In the product zone, the focus was primarily on product-contact surfaces but now requirements drive focusing on the entire environment around an open process.
- We’ve concentrated on five types of hazards that can affect how contaminants may potentially enter into the processed food: contact-surface hazards, overhead hazards, proximity hazards, potential transfer hazards and environmental hazards.
Let’s look at each one.1. Contact-surface hazards Contact-surface hazards were already in the forefront of industry’s minds. Here, the focus is on what’s touching the product. Is it stainless steel, plastic or something else? Is the surface going to be readily cleanable? Is it accessible for cleaning? Accessibility is one of the main considerations in an equipment design.
- The surface may be good but if it can’t be cleaned, it is still going to have a surface that’s imparting contaminants into the product.
- Cracks, crevices, sharp corners-all these places can hide, grow and impart bacteriological contaminations.
- Welds need to be ground smooth, polished and radiused so there’s no place for bacteria build up.
Packaging materials are a contact surface. Any machine, say a bagger or cartoner, that touches the interior of that package has the ability to impart contaminants into the food that goes in it. So we all need to look at such things as rollers on a dancer bar. 2. Overhead hazards Another potential hazard comes from overhead where contaminants can build up and then fall into a product. This includes areas outside and inside of a packaging machine. Outside the system, we’ve focused on pipes, conduits, cable, cords, ceilings, light fixtures and other things that are above the product in an open packaging line.
- Is there a place where things could leak and drip into the equipment and is the equipment protected from such leaks? Look at hazards within the equipment, too, and specify designs that highly reduce any risk from things such as fans, cabling, air lines and auxiliary equipment within the enclosure.
- Are these places that can build up material on them and, at some point, could that material release and drop onto the package material, say in a bagger? For example, is there an overhead printer that’s mounted horizontally versus vertically, where material will build up and then vibrate off and drop onto the film that creates a package? Does that now become a contaminated surface exposed to the food? Cabling, for example, needs to be spaced out so that contaminants don’t have a place to sit between bundled air lines or bundled cables.
Conveyor discharge points become an overhead hazard where one conveyor discharges onto another. Bearings can leak grease. Sprockets can build up dirt. These contaminants can drop out onto the product or onto the product-contact surface of the belt below.3.
- Proximity hazards Proximity hazards—such as guide rails and sidewalls—are becoming rather significant in the examination of contamination hazards.
- Is there build-up on the interior of a cabinet and, as such, when there’s air motion or fans blowing air, is that material moving and falling onto the product? Is something going on in a nearby piece of equipment that has a discharge, a spray of water or air, or some kind of contaminant that could be migrating its way over to the packaging equipment? Also consider support structures within the equipment.
Is there a good base, but a frame that builds up material or holds water? Are there holes in a tubular frame that will drip something onto the product? There are many guards for instrumentation that can harbor contaminants and then those can drop off or migrate into open food or other surfaces.4.
Potential transfer hazards In the past, industry, in general, hasn’t thought too much about potential transfer hazards. But there have been a number of instances within the food industry where contamination has happened through a transfer from conduit, cables, cords or other structural elements that are below or close to the open product.
For example, if maintenance personnel have to crawl underneath something to work on it, how much dust, dirt or acquired debris are they getting into that’s laying on the support structure, laying on underneath cables? As they stand up, they may put their hand on the product-contact surface, say a conveyor, or somewhere near the product-contact surface.
- Now there is the distinct possibility that Listeria or other such contaminants that weren’t in the product zone or were below the product zone have now been transferred into the the product zone and contaminated the product.
- There are documented cases of this having happened.
- These are things to think about, even in what would usually be considered a non-washdown area.
Is there proximity to a raw product process or to waste sources where cross-contamination is possible? Is the packaging line open next to a trash dock where contaminated material, either through transfer in the air or by things falling off of carts, create a risk? One of the areas that hasn’t really been thought about too much, as the industry is moving further into the use of robotics, is end-of-arm tooling that may be moving between environments.
What might it be transferring? 5. Environmental hazards Lastly, as a creator of specifications, do perform an analysis of environmental risk. What can contaminate the product from the air? Where can things come from and what can be done to mitigate the risk with shielding, guarding or air management? Is a pressurized cabinet required? Is evacuation required? Is there a vacuum to extract contaminants that could be in the air? Is modified atmosphere inside the packaging machine able to help keep contaminants out? What about radiological issues? Where are the sources and how do processors protect food from those sources? In summary We all need to assess our hazards and write our packaging machinery specifications to thoroughly mitigate them.
Vendors, use this information to ask your customers what hazards they see or expect so that you can do a better job of designing the equipment for them. Mike Brusky has been with ConAgra since 1998 and works in the corporate engineering department for the Consumer Foods Group.