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Food Safety

The term “food safety” includes all the practical measures and procedures involved in keeping food safe and wholesome through all its stages from production to final sale or consumption. This means that food safety is not just about cleanliness, although it is important of course, but also about keeping foods at the correct temperatures, avoiding the contamination of food, designing good food premises and many other things.

The term “food safety” has largely replaced the phrase “food hygiene” in the vocabulary of those who spend their working life concerned about such things, for example local authority environmental health officers. This is probably because it expresses more fully the range of matters that need to be dealt with correctly if the consumer is to be protected. The word “hygiene,” in the public’s mind at least just means cleanliness

Those managing a food business have many responsibilities and if the business is to be a success, there must be procedures to deal with them all. Procedures for drawing up the menu, buying food supplies, hiring staff, dealing with employees’ holidays and sickness, completing the accounts etc. must all be in place. Food safety procedures are at least as important as all these other procedures. A food business cannot be run properly without good food safety management procedures in place.

It should not just be those working in the food industry who are concerned with the way they handle and prepare food. Most food preparation is carried out at home and many cases of food-borne disease arise from poor food handling in the domestic kitchen. Good food safety is really part of good citizenship - our responsibility to others. There is much to be said for all children to receive training in food safety at school. This would make an important contribution to the health of their families later in life and provide an example for future generations.