HACCP stands for hazard analysis and critical control points. When applied, it is a system that guarantees safe end products for consumption.
You have heard of how easily someone can get complications from food poisoning or a foreign physical substance in food. How do you know you are suffering from food poisoning? Common cases will include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, body weakness, and headache. In some of the severe cases, food poisoning can potentially lead to death! Not a very good feeling, right?
What can you do about it? Worry not; the power is in your hands guided by HACCP system.
I will break it down for you.
A hazard is literally anything physical, biological or chemical in food with the potential to cause illness or harm.
Examples of physical hazards are nails, hair, fish bones, plastics or metallic pieces that may come into contact with food. This is something foreign in your food that you can see with your naked eye!
Physical hazards are eliminated by ensuring things like foreign nails and hair are well covered before handling food. Other physical items with potential to land in your food as you prepare should be kept away. Prepare, cook and eat food in a clean environment.
Examples include moulds, E.coli and staphylococcus aureus (commonly found on our hands). These hazards cannot be seen with the naked eye. You would require a microscope to see the tiny but potentially lethal microorganisms. Don’t you worry about the big scientific names, its good you know they do exist. Now, in your home setup, they can be controlled by practicing good personal hygiene practices before handling food and cooking. Yes! high temperatures during cooking destroy microorganisms. As simple as that.
Having lived in the Covid-19 pandemic season, we know all about hygiene, we can actually call ourselves experts on that front. Biological hazards only need that exceptional hygiene knowledge you now posses to control them. See, no rocket science!
These include detergents used to clean, disinfectants or sanitizers. These are easy to control. These are products we use to assure good hygiene as we prepare and cook food. Rinse every surface and cutlery that will get in to contact with food properly. Keep all chemicals out of reach from food! Easy.
- Key notes; Apply HACCP system in food right from preparation, cooking and eating. In every step, ask yourself what potential hazards could arise, eliminate them and you will be good to go!
- Eat your lunch or dinner from a renowned hygienic restaurant. Ask your family or friends for opinions on the restaurant if it your first time.
- As you do your shopping, check for expiry or best before dates to avoid getting food poisoning. Remember garbage in equals garbage out!