Fundamental Food Safety Standards

  • Author Kathleen Hill
  • Published May 27, 2011
  • Word count 527

Food safety standards are laws and regulations set by different agencies and independent bodies to ensure that the general public gets access to safe and fit food that is free of diseased or unsafe substances. Everywhere in the world, there are very many agencies and independent bodies tasked with this role of ensuring consumers get access to safe food, and there are other bodies and agencies tasked with ensuring the standards and measures are fully enforced.

For example, the World Health Organization is the most influential body that creates and sets in place food safety standards in Europe. In the US on the other hand, food safety regulations could be created and enforced by several independent bodies including the US Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and individual state or regional groups.

Generally, food safety standards could cover very many areas including but not limited to how food is refrigerated or transported, food labeling, and food handling, and / or mixing of different types of foods. Some of the things that are addressed are such things as under what circumstances are foods declared unsafe and hence should be discarded, and how and when chemical and/ or bacterial contaminants should be inspected. As previously mentioned, the main goal of food and safety standard laws is to ensure the general public buys the safest uncontaminated food possible.

Nonetheless, it is apparent that purposeful infringement of the regulations and standards of food and safety always does not address some important issues. Just recently, an extensive piece of information was published by the New York Times in regards to how easy it was with the present laws, to miss the harmful E. coli bacteria found on ground beef. Frequent cases of food poisoning and such revelations in the US and across the world call to urgent attention the ambiguities existing in food safety standards.

Note however that the loopholes could also exist when food safety measures and the inspection process is shared by more than one body. For instance, at the state level, a food inspector should ensure food is consumable and safe, and that it poses no health hazard to consumers and that it meets all procedures and requirements needed to be labeled in a particular way. Being aware of the definition of such things as ‘natural’, ‘organic’, etc could mean strictly following set legislation.

It is without a doubt true that for people who produce and manufacture food, meeting set food safety standards can be an arduous task. But on the flip side of the coin, selling unsafe food items creates a major health risk to the general public and subsequently makes the company responsible. A food manufacturing company that makes the public sick, kills people, or injures them permanently because of professional negligence or disregarding of the law, because of ignorance, or lack of inspection is bound to suffer economically, normally for a very long period of time.

Even so, it should be mentioned that complying with all standards is a very complicated process, but food manufacturing companies should always ensure all employees are fully trained of the set rules and regulations.