Practical Food Safety Guidelines: From Hand Washing to HACCP

Clarice Oelofse
 June 20, 2014
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Food Safety

We are often are asked for “practical advice w.r.t. food safety and HACCP”. If you are a consumer: Do not frequent dodgy restaurants and equally sinister take away outlets. If you are a producer of some sort, let’s take you on a quick journey, starting with Hand Washing, and ending off with HACCP.


Before you start working with food:

  • Always wash your hands
  • Wear clean clothes
  • Wear an apron if handling unwrapped food
  • Tell your manager if you have vomiting or diarrhoea and do not work with food
  • Remove your watch and jewellery
  • Tie hair back and wear a hairnet

When you are working with food:

  • No smoking
  • No eating or drinking
  • Avoid touching your face, coughing or sneezing over food
  • Cover cuts with brightly covered waterproof dressing

Tips on how to wash your hands effectively:

  • Wet your hands thoroughly under warm running water and squirt liquid soap into your palm
  • Rub your hands together, palm to palm, to make a lather
  • Rub the palm of one hand along the back of the other and along the fingers
  • Repeat with the other hand.Put your palms together with fingers interlocked and rub in between each of the fingers thoroughly
  • Rub around your thumbs on each hand and then rub the fingertips of each hand against your palm
  • Rinse off the soap with clean water and dry your hands thoroughly on a disposable towel.
  • Turn off the tap with the towel and then throw the towel away

We can therefore see that  these basic mandatory steps are not  “HACCP”. These pointers technically fall under the “Personal Hygiene” GMP. In a nutshell, if you want to go “HACCP”, this is what you are in for (remember this is just the diagram, not the manual).




Column 1


Column 2



Column 3


Column 4


Column 5


Column 6























































Trace element (Eg) in product





Metal pieces from random place












 Sampling every batch






Inspection of all random example. Preventative maintenance on all XYZ Example


Nil acceptance of product without HACCP documentation



Max. Mean average of trace elements in product




Zero chipped surfaces.



HACCP documentation





Eg. levels of incoming example





Metal pieces


Documentation to accompany product





Composite sample product laboratory.





Visual inspection



Per delivery






 Prior to exporting of the batch.




2 x per day


QA Manager






Designated QA inspector.





Designated QA Inspector/ & Production Supervisor



Supplier Delivery





Reject, do not sell.






Stop production and reject suspected contaminated production.

Rectify Issue.


Form ABC







Lab test report and corrective action form


Form Example 1, Form Example 3 from Inspection


Don't get too stressed, it is a process, and should be treated as such - break it down into small, manageable steps. Good luck, and give us a shout if you need help.





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Clarice Oelofse

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