Food safety hazards and physical hazards of food

Table of contents

Sr. No.

Contents

Page No.

1.

Acknowledgement

2

2.

Table of contents

3

3.

Synopsis

4

4.

Physical hazards of food

5-8

5.

Conclusion

9

6.

List of References

10

Synopsis

This project defines the concept of food safety hazards in contrast to physical hazards of food. What are physical hazards? How they can be prevented? And how they can be detected and eliminated is defined in this project.

Hazards of food

Food hazards are the physical, chemical and biological agents in the food or the condition of food with the probability to harm when eaten or to cause an adverse health effect.

Food hazards can be classified as biological hazards such as microorganisms, chemical hazards such as pesticides, chemical, cleaning agents or allergens and physical hazards are those hazards which are not supposed to, nor likely to be in the food like wood, glass, bones grit or dust.

Chemical hazards

These hazards are caused by following ways

  • By naturally occurring poisonous chemicals such as by poison plants like rhubarb leaves and mushrooms or poisonous animals like puffer fish, mould toxins or algal blooms, etc.
  • Chemicals which are added in water.
  • Chemicals used in agriculture such as pesticides, antibiotics, dips and heavy metals.
  • Poisonous diseases spread by animals or plants.
  • Chemicals like additives or cleaners which are added during food processing.
  • Some people have allergic reactions from certain foods like milk and its products, peanuts, crustaceans or gluten contained cereals.

These type of hazards can be controlled by purchasing food stuffs from an approved supplier, protecting the food from contamination, maintain safe cleaning procedures or applying standardize strategies to prevent cross contamination of food.

(University, 2014)

Biochemical hazards

These hazards are born in the food itself and cause the most food borne illness. They can occur by various sources. These microorganisms are commonly called as germs and are only be seen under a microscope. Basically not all the microorganisms are harmful but microorganisms like pathogens are harmful in food when they reach to a high level. Some of them are:

  • Viruses like influenza or hepatitis A.
  • Bacteria like salmonella, bacillus cereus, and staphylococcus aureus.
  • Moulds
  • Protozoa like Guardia
  • Yeast

The term food poisoning is caused by these pathogens that are growing in food results in illness. These microorganisms multiply to an infectious level which tends to make a person ill when food is kept in moist or warm conditions.

Due to continuous growth of these microorganisms to dangerous intensities, mostly bacteria, food poisoning tend to arise.to avoid these food borne illness, food handlers must know the conditions of food poisoning bacteria and their characteristics. (University, 2014)

Physical Hazards

A physical hazard is any foreign object accidently gets into the food and causes injury or illness to the person eating food. Physical hazards includes foreign objects like bone or bone chips, pieces of product packaging, insects, wood, metal, stones, glass, personal items etc. Contaminants from sources includes raw materials, improper maintenance of equipment and facilities, improper production procedures and poor employee practices. A physical hazard can enter a food product at any stage of production. It contains sharp and hard objects that can cause a potential threat to a person who is eating. Physical hazard can cause injury to a person such as

  • it can cuts to the mouth or gullet,
  • can damage the intestine
  • can also damage to the gums and teeth

Some common physical hazards

Glass: common sources from glass containers or glass food containers, or found in food processing facility are light bulbs or tubes.

Metal: Sources of metal includes metal from equipment such as blades, broken needles, staples, and fragments from utensils.

Plastics: packaging material used, gloves worn by food handling people, cleaning equipment, fragments of plastic tools.

Stones: crop fields, picked up stones by certain vegetables during harvesting. Worn concrete structures in food processing industries.

Wood: sources of wood comes from commonly like wood structures and wooden pallets used in transportation of food or food products.

Classification of physical hazards

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CIFA) defines the physical hazards into three classes depending on their possibility and sternness of their reaction:

  • Category I (high likelihood)
  • Category II (moderate likelihood)
  • Category III (low risk)

The organization additionally rates the probability of event dependent upon the level of control that a food processor need to kill the risk:

  • Low Risk: Great control measures secured, however minor infractions happen.
  • Medium Hazard: Some control measures created, yet crevices then again inconsistencies happen.
  • High Risk: Practically zero control built.

Every food has its own potential threats or hazards and evaluation of these helps in determining the risk category for likely physical hazard,

Preventive measures for common physical hazards

  • Inspect basic materials and food components for field contaminants (ex: stones in oats) that were not found during the course of the initial starting process.
  • Follow decent storing practices and assess potential dangers away zones (ex: sources of brittle glass, for example, light bulbs, staples from containers, and so on.) and use defensive acrylic bulbs or light blankets.
  • Develop details and controls for all elements and parts, including crude materials and bundling materials. Details or specifications ought to hold gauges for assessing adequacy of ingredients or packaging materials (ex: reused cardboard utilized for bundling once in a while holds hints of metals that could be identified by metal detectors. A limit for metal identification established to be secured to evade false positive detection of metal in food products).
  • Set up a practicable detection and removal system for physical threats in the facility (ex: metal locators or magnets to identify metal sections in the formation line, channels or screens to evacuate remote items.
  • The worn out equipment must be properly or regularly maintained to avoid physical hazards.
  • Employee training must happen time to time on shipping, storing, handling and receiving equipment to prevent physical hazards from being into the food.
  • Sanitize and clean tools and utensils or equipment after each use.
  • Sanitize blades of can openers after use to make sure that metal shavings do not hoard.
  • Use only viable ice scoops when getting ice from an ice machine.

Detection and elimination of physical hazards

  • Metal detectors will help to detect any metal content in food product. They should set up in food production line to reject products in which metal is detected. Proper maintenance should be done to this equipment to ensure they are working in an accurate manner.
  • Magnets can be used along with metal detectors on food assembly lines to get rid of metal from products.
  • X-Ray machines can be used on food to identify threats such as bones, stones, metals and also hard plastics.
  • Food radar method transmit low-power microwaves through food stuffs to recognize outside constituents , for example, metals, plastics, bones, bits and natural materials in food on processing line.

Main Materials of Concern as Physical Hazards and CommonSources

Material

Injury Potential

Sources

Glass

Cuts, bleeding

Bottles, jars, light fixtures, utensils

Wood

Cuts, infection, choking

Fields, pallets, boxes, buildings

Stones

Choking, broken teeth

Fields, buildings

Bullet/BB shot/ needles

Cuts, infection

Animals shot in field, needles used for infections

Jewelry

Cuts, infection

Pens/pencils, buttons, careless employee practices

Metal

Cuts, infection

Machinery, fields, wire, employees

Insects and other filth

Illness, trauma, choking

Fields, plant post-process entry

Insulation

choking

Building materials

Bone

Choking, trauma

Fields, improper plant processing

Plastic

Cuts, cuts, infection

Fields, plant packaging materials, pallets, employees

Personal effects

Cuts, choking, broken teeth

Employees

(University, 2014)

Conclusion

Food safety hazards are of three types, mainly chemical, biological and physical hazards. In which, Physical hazards are those foreign materials that are not supposed to go into food products, for example: stones, wood, metal, plastic etc. Physical hazards can cause much severe risk as they can damage, cuts and can cause serious harm to one’s health. They can be prevented by means of methods such as proper care in food processing industries in handling food, proper maintenance of equipment and utensils, sanitization of different utensils and machinery or equipment used in food processing. Physical hazards can be detected and eliminated by means of modern detectors such as Metal detectors, X-ray machine, magnets etc.

List of references

  1. University, C. 2014. HSC Online – Implement food safety procedures. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 7 Mar 2014].