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Food Safety in India: Importance, Safety standards and more...

India is a culturally diversified country and that diversification is highly noticeable in the large variety of cuisines available here. Though some of these food items namely hotel food, packaged food, street food, etc. might be good for our taste buds, as consumers we are never sure about their 'quality' and 'hygiene' standards. Food Safety is one of the primary areas that need attention in a developing country like India. To be more precise, food safety is an important health priority for any country and is vital for the economic growth of the country.

The topic of food safety has always been on the 'passive' minds of Indian consumers but they started focusing more on those aspects after a controversy about non-adherence of food safety standards by an FMCG multinational. In India, the food processing industry holds enormous potential but it can only be unearthed if the food safety standards are enforced in the country. This brings us to the regulatory aspects around it.

Food Laws and Regulations

A number of steps and measures have been taken to protect consumers against the intake of unhealthy/unsafe food items. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous organization that is established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. FSSAI was formed under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 in order to cater to food safety and regulation in India. The FSSAI is a single point contact for all the matters related to food safety.
All the earlier laws, rules and regulations related to food matters are now covered under FSSAI. However, there has been news that the safety and standardization of food is a neglected area and the health department has communicated to the regulator to focus more on those aspects. There is a pressing need for following a systematic approach to food safety, requirement that is fulfilled by Hazard Analysis And Critical Control Points (HACCP).

Hazard Analysis And Critical Control Points (HACCP)

HACCP is an internationally recognized system that helps identify potential risk of safety hazards in food and control them. It is an approach to food safety from various hazards - chemical, biological and physical. The most interesting aspect about HACCP is that it can be applied at various stages of a food chain, be it production, packaging, distribution, etc.
HACCP has gained significant prominence over a period of time and it is now applied to industries outside the food vertical e.g. cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, etc.

Training on Food Safety

As you have seen so far, there has been an evolution of food safety standards and consumers (as well as companies) need to be aware of them. We, at Yushmakam, offer comprehensive training around food safety, standards, certifications, HACCP, etc. Whether you are exploring a career in food auditing or planning to get required safety certifications for your organization or want to understand various aspects, etc. this course might interest you. Further details would be shared in subsequent blogs, stay tuned for the same!

(Reference: Internet)

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Our Services...

ISO 9001 (QMS), 14000 (EMS) and OSHAS accredited. Yushmakam is a professionally managed consultancy firm providing these Consultancy services.
We believe that ISO/ OSHAS accreditation is not merely a certificate which can be used for marketing but must usher in those positive developments in your organization, which should help you in accumulating delighted customers by continually enhancing the credibility & desirability of your products and services. Hence, our area of operation will be holistic with an agenda of improving your business from the core.
After we complete our consultation, you will have an organization which has an increased operational efficiency, proper well-defined plan for future development & quality enhancement, a superior documentation & traceability of all activities in your organization and a very consistent process system. This will invariably translate to Customer delight, Creation of a competitive edge for yourself within your industry, delivery of credible products & services and making your operation simple & system driven. All of which are essential to achieving greatness in your chosen industry.
Our process will begin with an interaction with your team (including your Management Representative), the study of your systems and processes, to identify the areas for improvements, identification and creation of documentation requirements, Training of your staff and management, Management Review Meeting, internal audit & internal audit training and finally facilitation of a certification audit by the certifying body. The total time required will be 60 days, which will include about 5 days of on onsite activities for each of the accreditation process.
Our costs will be most competitive for the value and quality of Consultancy service that we will be providing.

-Vasudevan R.
CEO
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Understanding Food Safety…

When we think about our health and safety, diet is one of the first aspects that come to mind. In order to eat healthily, we have to know how to recognize nutritious foods. More importantly, food safety is an issue that can literally make the difference between life and death in some cases. With Yushmakam let’s discuss some of the main food types, nutrition safety and more…
In every step of food preparation, follow the four steps of the Food Safe Families campaign to keep food safe…

Clean — Wash hands and surfaces often.
Separate — don’t cross-contaminate.
Cook — Cook to the right temperature.
Chill — refrigerate promptly.

Basics for Handling Food Safely…

Safe steps in food handling, cooking, and storage are essential to prevent foodborne illness. You can’t see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness. In every step of food preparation, follow the four steps of the Food Safe Families campaign to keep food safe. Food safety is a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent foodborne illness. The occurrence of two or more cases of a similar illness resulting from the ingestion of a common food is known as a Food-borne disease outbreak. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potential health hazards. In this way, food safety often overlaps with food defense to prevent harm to consumers. The tracks within this line of thought are safety between industry and the market and then between the market and the consumer. In considering industry to market practices, food safety considerations include the origins of food including the practices relating to food labeling, food hygiene, food additives and pesticide residues, as well as policies on biotechnology and food and guidelines for the management of governmental import and export inspection and certification systems for foods. In considering the market to consumer practices, the usual thought is that food ought to be safe in the market and the concern is safe delivery and preparation of the food for the consumer.
Food can transmit pathogens which can result in the illness or death of the person or other animals. The main mediums are bacteria, viruses, mold, and fungus (which is Latin for mushroom). It can also serve as a growth and reproductive medium for pathogens. In developed countries, there are intricate standards for food preparation, whereas in lesser developed countries there are fewer standards and enforcement of those standards. Another main issue is simply the availability of adequate safe water, which is usually a critical item in the spreading of diseases. In theory, food poisoning is 100% preventable. However, this cannot be achieved due to the number of persons involved in the supply chain, as well as the fact that pathogens can be introduced into foods no matter how many precautions are taken.

ISO 22000

ISO 22000 is a standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization dealing with food safety. This is a general derivative of ISO 9000. ISO 22000 standard: The ISO 22000 international standard specifies the requirements for a food safety management system that involves interactive communication, system management, prerequisite programs, and HACCP principles. ISO 22000 was first published in 2005. It is the culmination of all previous attempts from many sources and areas of food safety concern to provide an end product that is safe as possible from pathogens and other contaminants. Every 5 years standards are reviewed to determine whether a revision is necessary, to ensure that the standards remain as relevant and useful to businesses as possible.

Why are food safety education and training important?

If food safety is neglected, the risk of food contamination increases, which can cause foodborne illness outbreaks. Foodborne illnesses can critically damage a company’s reputation and result in criminal negligence, loss of sales/profits, scathing media coverage and even bankruptcy. Food safety education and training is a win-win situation, protecting both the guests and the company.

As you have seen so far, there has been an evolution of food safety standards and consumers (as well as companies) need to be aware of them. We, at Yushmakam offer comprehensive training around food safety, standards, certifications, HACCP, etc. Whether you are exploring a career in food auditing or planning to get required safety certifications for your organization or want to understand various aspects, etc. this course might interest you.

Reference: Internet.
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