Food Hygiene Assessments
Food hygiene is defined, according to WHO, as “the set of conditions and measures that must be present at all stages of production, storage, processing, transport, conservation and domestic cooking of food, to ensure the health of food”.
The consumer must know how to choose and recognize the quality of food, in addition to knowing how to preserve and handle them properly, to avoid contamination and loss of quality.
Labeling is the information that all food must necessarily carry. You must include the following information:
- Product name and designation: must indicate the true nature of the product
- Identification of the manufacturer: the name, address of the manufacturer, packer or importer of the food, seller must appear.
- Ingredients: you must include all the ingredients with which the product is made, including additives.
- Ingredients that cause hypersensitivity should be declared; cereals with gluten, crustaceans, eggs and by-products, fish, peanuts, soybeans, milk and derivatives and sulphites in concentrations equal to or greater than 10 mg / kg.- Date marking: expiration date and preferential consumption date must be taken. Once a packaged product is opened, it must be treated as a perishable and short-lived product.
- The additives are designated by their full name or by the letter E followed by a 3 or 4 digit number and always, preceded by the name of the category to which they belong (dye, antioxidant ..)
- Net weight
- Date marking. It must have the expiration date and the preferred consumption date. Once a packaged product is opened, it must be treated as a perishable and short-lived product.
- Conservation instructions: compliance gives validity to date marking.
- How to use: it is important in frozen and precooked.
- Country of origin
- Lot Identification
Why are foods altered?
Foods are biological structures of plant and animal character. They can suffer alterations by three mechanisms:
1. Natural decomposition
Enzymes that naturally occur in vegetables and live animals are involved in this mechanism. These enzymes accelerate degradation processes at the cellular level causing the loss of different nutrients from the food.
During the natural decomposition, water losses also occur, resulting in food drying and color changes, for example in fruit, vegetables and meats.
All these processes lead to nutritional modifications, mainly loss of vitamins and also modifications in the external properties of food, such as appearance, texture, taste, smell and color.
2. Contamination by microorganisms
These alterations are the most dangerous because of their consequences and because normally there are no visible changes.
The bacteria that can contaminate food are very numerous. Not all bacteria are harmful and some are useful for the production of foods such as cheese, yogurt, vinegar …
Bacteria that do cause diseases can be a real health hazard, especially in children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems.
Fungi are other microorganisms that frequently contaminate food. In this group are fungi and yeasts that cause alterations in the external properties of food but do not cause poisoning when ingested.