Many people think Food Safety and Food Quality is the same thing. Although closely related, there is a difference between Food Safety and Food Quality requirements in a food-handling environment. The one keeps consumers safe and the other keep consumers happy. This sounds very simple, but there is a lot more to it.
It is important to understand these differences and be able to identify each in the workplace.
Definition of Food Safety
Food Safety refers to practices and conditions that preserve the quality of food to prevent contamination and food-borne illnesses during preparation, handling and storage. The correct Food Safety practices give assurance that food will not cause harm to the consumer when it is prepared and/or eaten according to its intended use.
**Food should be safe for human consumption and free from hazards that may compromise the health of the consumer**
Examples of Food Safety procedures and policies:
- Personal hygiene
- Personal presentation and preparation
- Pest control
- Waste management
- Cleaning and sanitising
- Temperature control and measurement
- Food Safety hazard identification
These are only a few examples of Food Safety procedures that should be in place in a food-handling environment. Food Safety procedures vary from company to company and industry to industry. It is important to know what your company’s Food Safety procedures and policies are.
Definition of Food Quality
Food Quality refers to the features and characteristics of a food product that is:
- acceptable to consumers and meet their expectations;
- value for money;
- conforms to the required specifications, and
- profitable to the company.
Examples of Food Quality Attributes:
- External factors such as appearance (size, colour, shape and consistency).
- Flavour (odour and taste)
- Correct labelling with the ingredients, nutritional information and supplier/manufacturer details listed.
- Products must be properly packaged and sealed.
- Ingredient standards are maintained.
- Food quality also deals with product traceability, should a recall of the food product be required.
Food Safety and Food Quality, two of the most important aspects of any food-handling environment. It is important to know the difference and have a proper Food Safety and Food Quality management system in place. It will keep your customers healthy and happy, and you out of trouble.
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