Debugging your FSMS

Clarice Oelofse
 April 17, 2015
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Food Safety

Are you serving more than just food?


The WHO celebrated its birthday on 7 April, and this year the theme was: Food Safety. According to WHO: “Safe food underpins but is distinct from food security. Food safety is an area of public health action to protect consumers from the risks of food poisoning and foodborne diseases, acute or chronic. Unsafe food can lead to a range of health problems: diarrhoeal disease, viral disease (the first Ebola cases were linked to contaminated bush meat); reproductive and developmental problems, cancers. Food safety is thus a prerequisite for food security'.


Key questions to consider:

What is food safety? & What is food security? Food safety is defined as food that is "safe for human consumption" and is also the "unintentional contamination of food", whereas food defence is defined as the "intentional contamination of food". TS ISO 22002-1 also refers to this as Bio vigilance or Bio terrorism.  


This leads us to another key question – are you serving more than just food?

Food poisoning represents a crossover between infectious diseases and toxin-mediated illness, as many bacteria elaborate toxins to produce symptoms.  Some cases of food poisoning involve colonization and reproduction of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, while others arise from pre-formed toxins in food (www.calpoison.org). Bacterial food poisoning may be short-lived and self-limited (e.g. Bacillus cereusStaphylococcus aureus) or prolonged, with severe symptoms, complications, and sequelae (e.g. Campylobacter spp.Escherichia coliShigella spp.).


B. Cereus about this for a moment. Bacillus foodborne illnesses occur due to survival of the bacterial endospores when food is improperly cooked. Cooking temperatures less than or equal to 100 °C (212 °F) allow some B. cereus spores to survive. This problem is compounded when food is then improperly refrigerated, allowing the endospores to germinate. Cooked foods not meant for either immediate consumption or rapid cooling and refrigeration should be kept at temperatures below 10 °C or above 50 °C (50 °F and 122 °F) - Source - Wikipedia


Now, what do I do next:

  • Make sure all your GMP’s are in place
  • Make use of a SANAS accredited Lab to do micro testing (www.fclabs.co.za)
  • Join us for a Food Defence Workshop on 13 July 2015
  • Email us for a free presentation on Food Safety Management Systems

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