Roles in Food Safety
Food safety refers to the steps that are followed when food is being made, handled, and reserved for future use without exposing people to the chances of suffering from illnesses that are associated with eating contaminated food. This paper focuses the duties of the various parties who are the major players in this industry in their obligation of maintaining food safety.
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There are three parties that are mainly involved in food safety and they are namely the government, producers, and processors. The issue of food is important safety because in the recent past there have been numerous reports of people who died after consuming contaminated food.
Governments in general have the major role in this field because incase of anything it is the government that will be blamed for failing to protect its citizens. The government has the mandate to supervise the overall procedures that are undertaken for food to be made from the farms to the shelves (Redman, 2008).
This means that the government must supervise how farmers grow their crops and also how they rear their animals that are meant for human consumption. For instance, government agencies must ensure that crop farmers don’t use toxic substances to enhance the growth of their crops.
Besides that the government agencies must ensure that the animals that are slaughtered for human consumption are in good health and those that do not meet the required standards must be rejected. In other words the government agencies act as regulators. For example, all meat that is available in any given slaughter house must bear the stamp from the department of health which means it has been verified as safe for human consumption.
The processors are the people who refine food into other forms to increase the shelf life of food. The processors rely on the government to ensure that food manufacturers bring food items that are of good standard. The government ensures that the food producers adhere to the rules of food safety.
If the government allows substandard food items to penetrate through the production chain the processors will not be able to check for the standard and quality of the food items. The main aim of this is that producers and retailers must aim at providing customers with safe food (Jany, 2000).
According to Redman (2008) the processors act as the reserves because they refine food in order to lengthen the timeline that it can last without going bad. For instance, milk processors refine milk by converting some portions of that milk into powder for it to last longer. The government must ensure that the food processors adhere to hygiene standards when they are repacking the food and as well when they are transporting the food materials from the producers.
This is because if hygiene is compromised the food can be hazardous to the people who will consume it. In fact in some countries food from the farms and from processing companies must be transported using designated vehicles which must be licensed by the government agencies as food transporters.
The people who work in food processing companies are required by law to be vetted regularly and must always be in protective clothing such as gloves and gumboots. If they are suffering from diseases such as tuberculosis they might spread it to other persons when they sneeze while handling food.
The retailers are the people who sell the finished food products to the customers. They are obliged to retain the freshness of food from the time it arrives into their business premises until they are finished from their shelves.
They must not sell food products that have expired hence they are the ones who ensure that the customers buy quality food. If they continue to sell expired goods they are exposing unknowing customers to the risk of food poisoning which is caused by eating food that is intoxicated especially if it has expired.
It is important to note that when food is not stored in good conditions it may go bad faster. Consumers are concerned with the safety and quality of food, and they are the ones who drive the rate of food production because of their demands. Sometimes food is thrown away because of poor standards or expiry dates thus leading to losses in the long run (Shields, 2009).
The food processors should ensure that the retailers have good storage facilities before they can be allowed to sell the finished products. The government should also ensure that the retailers are licensed. In addition to that the government agencies should observe the processed food before it’s forwarded to the retailers to ensure that it abides by the set quality rules.
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In conclusion, the above mentioned industry players depend on each other hence they should work together for the common wellness of the people. Each party must play its assigned role accordingly because if any of the parties does not comply to the rules of food safety the entire nation and even countries that buy food from the country in question are at risk of contracting diseases that are caused by contaminated food.
Jany, K., 2000. Food Production: Where do we go from here? (EUFIC). Federal Research Institute for Nutrition. Karlsruhe, Germany. [online].
Redman, N., 2008. Food safety: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.
Shields, R., 2009. Kitchen bin war: tackling the food waste mountain. The Independent [online].