Disease Prevention in the Food Industry
Illness can indeed come from anywhere and anytime. Some diseases are contagious and some are not. Infectious diseases usually come from viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Meanwhile, non-communicable diseases usually originate from the human body itself, which lacks health care, or from hereditary diseases. Diseases can be contagious if we are not careful about maintaining hygiene. For that, we need disease prevention early on.
Diseases can also come from the food we eat. It could be because of a lack of hygiene so that it carries germs. It could also be because of unbalanced nutrition so which in the long term it can cause disease in the body. The food industry is a place that makes food products that, if not careful in the production process, can bring diseases that are detrimental to consumers.
To prevent this, it is necessary to take preventive measures or preventive steps so that the disease cannot enter the food. Then what preventive steps can be taken to prevent diseases that can enter food? Here are ways to prevent this disease:
Conduct Health Checks for Workers
Before you recruit workers to work in the food industry, it’s best to check their health first. Do not let one of your workers have a contagious disease that can transmit bacteria or viruses to other workers and to the food produced.
This step is the first step in prevention so that there is no disease contamination in food. You can do a health check with a local health facility so that there is no fraud or manipulation from prospective workers if they have to present it with their own check.
Also, don’t let your workers work when they are sick. Provide medicines and rest areas for sick workers comfortably.
Cultivating hand washing before and after work
Hand washing is a preventive step that is the spearhead of various disease prevention. Washing hands can kill microorganisms that stick to the hands. It can prevent the transfer of these microorganisms into a food.
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Washing hands must be done properly, namely by washing hands with 5 steps using soap and running water. Here’s how to wash your hands properly:
- The first step is to wet your hands using running water
- Take the soap and rub it lather into your palms, the back of your hands, and between your fingers.
- Clean nails rubbed into the palm of the other hand.
- Rinse hands under running water
- Dry your hands with a dry towel or tissue and air it
Using Personal Protection Equipment
To protect food from contamination by various diseases from workers, educate workers to use personal protective equipment. You can give them sterile gloves, hair caps, aprons, boots, and special clothes for producing food that is completely sterile from bacterial contamination from the outside.
By using personal protective equipment or what can be abbreviated as PPE, besides being able to protect food contamination from diseases carried by workers, it can also protect workers from diseases of other workers or also from the food itself.
Using these tools will also keep the food clean so that something doesn’t get into the food, such as hair, which usually happens often.
Making Sure the Food is Cooked
Make sure the food you are going to distribute to consumers is really cooked. By ripening the food that you are going to produce, you will kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses that may enter harmful food.
Bacteria, viruses, and fungi will die at 100 o C, but this does not apply to milk-based foods that must use a pasteurization system. Make sure the food you are going to distribute does not contain bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Apart from food, packaging must also be ensured to be sterile, which can be sterilized by boiling it under high pressure so that all microorganisms can die.
Using Safe Food Raw Materials
To prevent disease in the food industry, you can also use safe raw materials. Safe raw materials here mean using raw materials that comply with health standards so that they are not harmful to the body when eaten.
Avoid using synthetic materials whose safety is not guaranteed so that they will not cause disease to consumers. Pay attention to the correct processing of raw materials under the standards set by the state.
You can use safe and recommended food coloring, or it is better to use natural dyes. Use natural preservatives such as sugar, salt, smoking, boiling, and so on so it won’t make consumers sick.
Maintain Room Temperature and Humidity
To prevent the disease from entering the food industry, you can also maintain the temperature and cleanliness of the room. A damp room will cause the proliferation of microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses. A humid room can trigger many microorganisms that enter the production room.
If the production room is no longer hygienic, the food produced will also be easily contaminated the room. You can adjust the humidity with a humidifier so that the room can stay dry and not make it a breeding ground for microorganisms.
Those were some ways that you can use for your professional cleaning in the food industry. In conclusion, if you want to prevent disease in the food industry, the most appropriate step is to maintain cleanliness.