Understanding Hygiene and Sanitation in Food Handling Areas.
Almost every few weeks, a new story of foodborne illnesses hit the news headlines. Salmonella in chicken, peanuts, fish etc., E. coli in salads, fruit juice, drinking water, etc., Staph aureus toxin in stored foods, etc. Every year, thousands of people are hospitalized due to foodborne illnesses, and some of them even die. An instance of a salmonella contamination in peanut butter in 2008-09 hospitalized more than 600 people and killed 9 people in USA. E.Coli 0157 contamination in salads killed about 15 people in European Union. There are are numerous cases of Staphylo coccus poisoning, Lysteria infections, histamine toxicity, heavy metal toxicity and food allergens recorded in developed countries and undetected in developing and under developed countries. The hospital expenses, the man days lost and even the loss of precious life of near and dear on account of food poisoning cause public and parents everywhere to question the safety food offered for public consumption.
A thorough study has revealed that majority of such food borne illness arise from careless handling of food materials from farm to fork. These agents of food poisoning are referred to as food safety hazards. As per food safety norms hazards are defined as any thing in the food which can cause infection or toxicity or injury to the consumer. There are mainly three types of hazards viz. the biological hazards, the chemical hazards and the physical hazards.
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