fight risks of food safety hazards
Hazard analysis and critical control points, or HACCP, is a systematic preventive approach to food safety and pharmaceutical safety that addresses physical, chemical, and biological hazards as a means of prevention rather than finished product inspection. It involves monitoring, verifying and validating of the daily work that is compliant with regulatory requirements in all stages all the time. HACCP is used in the food industry to identify potential food safety hazards, so that key actions can be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk of the hazards being realized. The system is used at all stages of food production and preparation processes including packaging, distribution, etc.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) say that their mandatory HACCP programs for juice and meat are an effective approach to food safety and protecting public health. The use of HACCP is currently voluntary in other food industries. Hence, HACCP has been increasingly applied to other industries, such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. This method, which in effect seeks to plan out unsafe practices, differs from traditional "produce and test" quality control methods which are less successful and inappropriate for highly perishable foods.
HACCP application range
- Fish and fishery products
- Fresh-cut produce
- Juice and nectar products
- Food outlets
- Meat and poultry products
- School food and services
The development, implementation, and certification of an HACCP system, besides enhancing the efficiency of the production plant resulting from the minimization of production rejects and returns, also enables the manufacturing companies to offer a completely guaranteed product quality to their customers.
The Menikini machines, put to the test to evaluate the effectiveness of steam in damping fungi and bacteria, have been proved to be more and more effective, amply within the parameters specified by the European standards related to chemical and antiseptic disinfectants.
For all cleansing and sanitizing activities hereunder reported, traditional systems may be replaced with the use of saturated dry steam with advantages regarding water, detergent and disinfectant consumption. Usually where meals are prepared and administrated the following equipment is present:
- refrigerators and cold stores
- rapid temperature decreaser
- thermal convection ovens
- microwave ovens
- citrus-fruit squeezers
- drinks distributors
- ice-cream dispensers
- ranges and heating plates
handbook for a correct sanitary routine
Part of the handbook for a correct sanitary routine with reference to restaurants, edited by "Federazione Italiana pubblici esercizi" (Italian Federation of Public businesses), will be hereunder reported. Ministry of Public Health judged it in compliance with the article 3 of the decree law 1997, n° 155. The handbook which we refer to has been edited in order to give the information, the instruments, the methods to apply the HACCP to the preparation and administration area of meals with reference to restaurants. To such area belong the following:
- Restaurants: Restaurants, Inns, Fast food, Self Services, Pizzeria, Snack-bars, Private Clubs, etc...
- Restaurants/Hotels: Hotels, Boarding-houses, Tourist Villages, Youth-Hostels, Vacation houses, etc...
- Collective restaurants: canteens, cafeteria, refectories of firms, schools and hospitals, etc...
- Premises for old people: Nursing homes.
The following paragraphs, quoted hereunder from the handbook, may serve as useful indications for the cleaning and sanitizing procedures to be undertaken.
The sequence of the cleaning operations should be carried out as reported hereunder:
Removal of coarse residuals
The removal of coarse residuals is the first operation to be carried out during the cleaning operations. It should be carried out every time a process ends and it consists of removing from the work areas all the residuals which were originated during the raw material processing and which would hinder further cleaning operations. Traces of flour, sugar, powders, packaging parts, liquid and other materials should be removed by means of sweeping of the floors and dusting of tables and equipment.
Cleansing is the operation which enables the removal of dirt from the surfaces so as to make them become visibly clean. Dirt may be classified as normal dirt or fat dirt. In order to remove such dirt detergents are used .... pay attention to the technical safety data, all detergents have toxicity characteristics.
Sanitizing is a process which aims at destroying the pathogenic germs and the other micro-organisms. The chemical agents which are mostly used by the firms where food is dealt with are: Chlorine-based components, Quaternary ammonium salts.... It is important that sanitizing is carried out only after an accurate cleansing, even a great use of disinfectant is not effective if grease residuals and dirt remains on the treated surface.... The duration of the contact between disinfectant and surface is very important, usually 10-15 minutes are required .... Surfaces treated with disinfectant must be abundantly rinsed afterwards in order to avoid contamination with food.... In the document it is also quoted the saturated dry steam technology with the following words: “pressured Dry Steam with temperatures between 140°-185° C represents the most ecological and modern method to attack dirty surfaces. Pressure, associated with heat action, plays an efficient cleansing and disinfecting action on all kind of surfaces.... Pay attention to the machinery characteristics, they should be provided with manometer and thermometer” in order to be able to check the pressure the boiler is operating at and thereafter the temperature of the generated steam. Saturated steam enables therefore to operate both in the cleansing and in the sanitizing phase.