If you work in the food industry, then a high standard of hygiene is an essential requirement. Whether you are a manufacturer, distributor or consumer, acquiring some basic knowledge around food hygiene is crucial for people's health and wellbeing. This CPD article will explain the importance of food hygiene and safety, including key principles, as well as outline why it can be beneficial to take a food hygiene course.
What is food hygiene?
Food hygiene, also known as food safety, refers to all essential practices that businesses must follow when processing, preparing, handling, storing and distributing food. Food hygiene principles and measures are put in place to prevent people getting ill from contamination of food and causing food poisoning.
What is the importance of food hygiene?
There has become an ever-increasing awareness of food safety by the general public and news reporting on food recalls and outbreaks. According to the Food Standards Agency, there are 2.4 million cases of foodborne illness per year in the UK.
Poor hygiene can lead to the spread of foodborne illness that can be caused by a number of different factors, including bacteria, viruses, and toxins. This means that food hygiene is important at home as well as in restaurants, retail or food factories.
Lack of proper hand washing accounts for 33% of all related food poisoning cases. It is therefore important to maintain and ensure good personal hygiene practice. Food safety is a critical issue for businesses. When working with, or around food, there are many potential risks involved, and through developing good hygiene practices within a workplace, these can be significantly reduced. If food isn't handled properly, it can be costly and damaging to a business' reputation.
It is vital you understand your responsibilities in regards to the law when working with food. All organisations must comply with legislation and organisations are regularly inspected to ensure they are complying with the law. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) works closely with Local Authority (LA) Food Safety Officers to ensure businesses comply with food law throughout the food chain.