Food is the most widely traded commodity in the world today since it’s the world’s number one basic need. Most food businesses started in the comfort of one’s home. Still, successful ones have transformed into colossal modern facilities because of the increase in demand and the need for massive, speedy production. This is evident by the global food market revenue in 2021 at USD 8 trillion, an increase of USD 1 trillion from the previous year.
Huge facilities that manufacture hundreds, even thousands of food packages daily, have a responsibility to supply only quality and safe food products to their market. Not doing so could lead to food intoxication, illnesses, and even death.
Manufactured food can be contaminated in many ways. To give you an idea, here are ways food can be contaminated:
- Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
These are compounds that accumulate in the environment and the human body. An example of which is dioxin, a by-product of industrial processes derived from animals that can cause reproductive and developmental problems and cancer.
- Chemical Substances
Heavy metals such as mercury and lead could cause liver and neurological damage. Naturally occurring toxins from food like toxins from poisonous mushrooms, mycotoxins from corn, and ochratoxins from mold on grains could severely affect one’s immune system and could cause cancer.
- Dangerous Pathogens
Bacteria, viruses, and parasites could cause severe infections with enervating symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, fever, headache, nausea, and stomach pains. In most cases, these symptoms lead to dehydration, hospitalization, and in children, death.
- Foreign Objects
Unknowingly, foreign particles may come into contact during food production such as hair, metal, plastic, cartons, and other materials present in the facility.
Food Quality And Safety 101
To ensure food manufacturers only produce the highest quality of food for their consumers, here are the tools they need to use in their operation:
1. Check Weigher Machine
This machine ensures consistency of the weight of products and prevents unacceptable underweight products that could disappoint consumers and overweight products that could affect the business’s profitability.
Having this efficient machine will speed up production as there’ll be no need to manually weigh and inspect each item that passes through the conveyor. It’ll positively affect operational costs, especially labor and personnel, as the machine can do the job of multiple people. For a more detailed overview, you may check this site for the other uses of checkweigher machines.
2. Food X-Ray Machines
Food X-ray inspection machines offer the highest range of detection in the production line, so you’ll be assured that no foreign particles will get into production that could harm the entire batch you’re producing.
There are a variety of types available that’ll suit your business. An X-ray machine that detects metallic and non-metallic contaminants such as glass, plastic, bone, and rubber will be valuable to your company. It’ll give you peace of mind, knowing that you’ve taken an extra step to ensure the safety of your consumers.
Most food X-ray machines detect foreign contaminants and detect defects during the inspection such as breakage, displaced labels, and damage in packaging. This will guarantee that only products of the highest quality reach the hands of your consumers.
Many foods require a specific temperature to maintain their quality. Not following the recommended temperature could lead to many foodborne illnesses. Food safety requires many manufacturers to comply with the danger zone. The danger zone is the temperature range where bacteria can multiply rapidly in food, and this is determined at 41-135 °F.
The longer a food is exposed within this range of temperatures, the greater the risk that bacteria will grow on the food resulting in spoilage, and when ingested, may lead to food poisoning.
4. Inspection System App
Because of the tedious and detailed steps in the food manufacturing business, monitoring is crucial in every step, beginning from receiving raw materials up to the endpoint of delivery to distribution channels. The many steps of food production pass through several channels and hands of various people, which is why tracking is essential.
An inspection system app can log all activities, temperatures, weight, product status, and the person responsible for each step, so it’ll be easier to identify the root cause if problems arise. This modern AI-based app makes traceability easy. It’ll also help the business justify reasons for product recalls more effortlessly.
Many businesses take careful steps in ensuring that the food they offer to their consumers is of the highest quality. This is because a breach of food safety procedures could lead to the following:
- Product Recall
This is the act of requesting consumers to return, exchange, or replace a product because of a discovered defect or issue that could potentially harm the consumer.
- Damage To The Brand
Some companies who experienced this never got back on their feet. A stain on one’s reputation from a minor mishap can be easily scrubbed off and cleaned through damage control and good PR strategy. Still, massive damage to reputation can be extremely challenging to navigate, especially now that social media can add fuel to the fire aside from traditional media.
- Diminished Staff Morale
Unfavorable circulating news about a company one works for can cause anxiety to a team member and eventually lead to reduced confidence and a reason to look elsewhere for a job.
If proven accurate and validated in court, appropriate fines can be claimed by affected individuals, and imprisonment may be enforced when companies get convicted in court.
When all resources are drained and a company can’t afford to operate, they’ll most likely apply for bankruptcy and potentially close down the business.
Most food manufacturing companies have a mission to provide quality and safe products to their consumers. It’s part of their vision and brand imaging. A company with a conscience has a long way to go in the cutthroat world of business. Ensuring that the products you sell are safe and are high in quality proves that you’re worth patronizing and supporting. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you plan and prepare.