Safety in the food manufacturing and beverage production industries is crucial not only for workers, but also the end consumers of your product. While standards and regulations are extensive, safety can be achieved with proper sanitation, equipment maintenance, and employee training.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides a complete list of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). Common food safety problems are broken down into four categories:
- Microbiological safety
- Chemical safety
- Physical safety
- Other considerations
Most safety issues arise from a lack of training, proper sanitation, and equipment maintenance. It’s important to remember that food and beverage safety starts with effective workplace safety. Safe employees produce safe product.
Contamination of food products can occur before, during, and after processing. Sanitation procedures should be documented and include details of any equipment disassembly procedures, chemicals, and methods used. The time required, amount of chemicals used, and water temperatures should be recorded. Make sure that employees use proper protective products to prevent contaminating work areas and product during manufacturing. Gloves, hair nets, and face masks are common forms of protective wear. Workers must also protect themselves from bacteria or pathogens that may be contained in the raw materials they are processing.
Your employees need to be aware of the location of emergency shut-offs on all machinery and cannot be permitted to operate machinery without the required training. They also must be dressed appropriately, free of clothing or jewelry items that could become caught in machinery. The possibility for entrapment endangers workers and loose items can end up contaminating the product being processed.
By following these guidelines, employers can keep both the food chain and their employees safe. To achieve maximum safety results, all employees, supervisors and managers need to be involved in the training. These standards should also be applied to any sub-contractors and suppliers.
For more information and advice on how to manage the safety of your product and your manufacturing process, please contact us at 845-986-1177. We are your insurance solutions provider, partner, and adviser, serving Warwick, Greenwood Lake, Florida, Goshen, Pine Island, Middletown, Chester, Monroe, Newburgh, Orange County, and the Hudson Valley, state of New York, and Tri-State Area.