A food safety management system at work

What is the Purpose of a Food Safety Management System?

Food safety management is vitally important for protecting people from foodborne disease or injury related to food consumption. Such dangers are a major threat to food businesses and affect consumers all over the world, and the controlled mitigation of these threats is the very purpose of a Food Safety Management System.

The World Health Organization estimates that up to 600 million people contract foodborne illnesses each year, out of which at least 420,000 people die. Everyone’s health and well-being are directly connected to the need for superior hygiene in how our food is handled.

A Food Safety Management System is a structured process for overseeing food production and usage, ensuring that food is produced and maintained to a quality standard that keeps it safe to eat. It should take into account and fully define each step of the production process, identifying any possible risks and emplacing specific controls to ensure safety.  

It is the responsibility of the food producer to develop and maintain such a system of organized procedures designed to mitigate risk factors when producing and handling foodstuffs for public consumption. Food production businesses are typically required by law to adopt and maintain such Food Safety Management Systems, in compliance with governmental food safety regulations.

By creating and maintaining an effective management system to monitor food safety, it becomes easier to monitor and control potential vectors through which foodborne illnesses might infiltrate our food production processes, more efficiently guarding against potential exposure.

Why is Food Safety Important?

Bacteria and viruses are the most common cause of food poisoning. In North America, the bacteria and viruses that cause the most illness are Salmonella, Norovirus, Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, and Clostridium pefringens.

These can cause various health consequences ranging from short-term discomfort to debilitating infections and long-term disease. The consequences of poor food safety management can even be fatal if perishable food products become contaminated.

How To Prevent Food Poisoning Before It Starts?

Where food safety is concerned, it pays to be proactive. That’s where Food Safety Management Systems enter the picture. Throughout the food production industry, strategic food safety is key to building and growing one’s business since food business operators and food preparers play what is arguably the most important role in protecting consumers from the dangers of contaminated food products. Truly effective food safety management demands a highly active approach to identifying potential food safety hazards in any given process and establishing effective, repeatable control measures for all of them. Preventative safety is yet another purpose of a Food Safety Management System.

Which Actions Can Help Minimize Food Safety Risks?

Safe food-handling practices are the first line of defense against foodborne bacteria. Since different temperatures affect the growth of bacteria in food, we can protect potential consumers by properly handling, cooking, and storing foods at safe temperatures.

Temperature Control

Freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules, causing bacteria to enter a dormant stage. Properly handled food stored in a freezer at 0 °F will be safe.

A temperature of 40 °F should be maintained in the refrigerator. Bacteria capable of causing foodborne illness will cease growing or else grow much more slowly at refrigerator temperatures.

Surface Disinfecting

Another powerful strategy for limiting bacterial growth in food production is to deny such bacteria an inviting environment in which to exist.  Surface disinfectant procedures and reliance on smooth, easily cleaned stainless steel surfaces, with impermeable welded joints and connections, will deny potentially toxic bacteria any openings, nooks, and crannies where they might grow and multiply.

Ventilation and Airflow in Containment Spaces

Another important concern in safely handling and processing food products has to do with the amount and type of airflow that interacts with the food during production and storage, and related factors such as humidity and atmospheric containment. By limiting and controlling the airflow during all stages of the process, one might prevent potential contamination from unfiltered air while strictly controlling temperature through applied circulation.  

What does AFE, LLC Do To Address The Importance of Food Safety?

AFE, LLC strives to provide the most hygienic, energy-efficient, and reliable food processing equipment in the world. Cleanliness and hygiene are critical when it comes to food processing and preservation.

All of our designs and construction methods are implemented with an anti-bacterial focus, crafted from high-quality stainless steel with expert welding for durability and impermeability.

Key components are sleeved and fully welded. We additionally offer built-in Pasteurization System options capable of heating up to 78 degrees Celsius (173 Fahrenheit) to pasteurize. Another capability we offer is reliable cleaning-in-place (CIP) options for our systems, using an adjustable Rotating Nozzle Assembly that fully distributes detergent and sanitizing products before rinsing.

AFE, LLC also provides in-house testing of food products to confirm high-quality freezing or cooling machinery results, as well as remote product testing in which our clients send us their food products for safety testing at our facilities.

All of these features and functions can be used as key strategic elements, enabling our clients to design their own Food Safety Management Systems to monitor and maintain reliable food safety in their production processes.

To learn more about our equipment solutions to health and safety challenges, click HERE