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Mbeef-1239184_1920ad cow disease is a classic example of how failure to adhere to the first of the eight principles of food hygiene can cause both dire risk to those who come into contact with meat infected with mad cow disease and cause terrible suffering for cattle. The need to make sure that animals are reared properly includes how and with what they are fed. The exact meaning of this statement will become clear as you read this article. The diligence needed at each and every stage of food production and food preparation is absolutely vital in order to maintain the full integrity of food safety. Below you will find an explanation of mad cow disease that will give you insight and understanding of this terrible disease.

Mad cow disease or Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE for short) is a neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system of cattle of all breeds. It is believed (although not 100% proven) that this disease is caused due to the feeding of animal tissue (usually from cattle by also from sheep or pigs) to cattle.

It is common practice nowadays to feed cattle proteins from animal sources. This may be bone meal, blood meal, brain tissue meal or even feather meal. The reason why cattle are fed animal protein is because the protein levels that are present in most plants are relatively low and some strains of bacteria in the cows rumen break them down into undesirable fatty acids such as butyric acid which are less than ideal for the production of milk and flesh mass on beef cattle. (Acetic acid is best for milk production and propionic acid produces the best muscle mass).

The thing that farmers and industrialists alike are constantly looking for is protein types that the bacteria resident with the rumen will not recognise and therefore will pass through the rumen unaffected by the bacteria and pass into the true stomach where they will passed into the bloodstream through the cows intestine. For this technique to be successful, the farmer must alternate the type of protein given to the cow in its feed so that the bacteria of the rumen will not grow to recognize it and hence metabolise it.

Animal proteins contain prions which are proteins that can change the structure of other proteins that they come into contact with. Factories that make animal protein feed (Often in the far east) are renowned for not adhering to procedure and this can cause fluctuations to happen both in the processing time and temperature levels. You see, if the proteins are properly cooked, they will not cause any damage because when cooked, proteins change their structure.

The effect of eating improperly processed protein feed can cause the prions within the protein of the feed to change the structure of the proteins of the cattles brain and spinal cord. This causes the tissue to become spongy meaning thet there are empty spaces within the tissue where there should have been nervous tissue. This wasting and structural change of the cows brain tissue cause the signals that come from the brain to malfunction causing the cow to appear to have fits and seizures. This condition can take up to five years to develop in the cow.

Although few cases were reported above the norm, in technical terms, this condition can be passed on to humans especially where meat is only lightly cooked (or red in the middle). This disease cost farmers billions of dollars worth of damage , especially in the UK where some six million cattle either died because of the disease or were slaughtered in an attempt to eradicate it.

It is believed that some bad feed is still being exported from the far east, (especially from India).

women-730212_1920This subject only relates to Food safety in a very round about way but because a reader sought information on the subject I have decided to give it some attention.

For most people, food entering the nasal cavity when eating is not a major problem. Few in fact experience the phenomena of food entering the nasal cavity to any serious degree in the sense that the food forms an obstruction of airflow through the nose or the nose and mouth. It is far more common for people to eject liquids through their nasal cavity. This can happen for a number of reasons. Firstly, it often happens when our mental concentration levels are lowered, such as when we laugh, sneeze of cough. Secondly, it can happen when we are surprized suddenly such as may happen if we are slapped on the back. Thirdly, it can happen if our mouths are too full and have problem breathing or swallowing. In this case breath or the action of contraction at the back of the mouth may force liquids, or solids into the nasal cavity. It may also happen to infants if they begin to cry while drinking. Another scenario in which food may be inadvertantly forced into the nasal cavity can happen in cases in which solid food or fluid is accidentally inhaled into the trachea (wind pipe) and in the process of attempting to expell it back into the bucal cavity, it is often forced into the caverns of the nasal passages due to the fact that they are situated directly above the trachea. This phenomenon can greatly incease the intense discomfor of the blockage of the wind pipe and can cause further temporary problems associated in the resumption of the normal breathing rythm. In a minority of cases the outcome may be more serious and require some intervention.

The sensation experienced in such instances may vary from mildly uncomfortable to quite uncomfortable. Rarely do these cases present a serious risk.

The cases in which food may enter the nasal cavity include the following: improperly chewed food. Food must be masticated thoroughly in the mouth so that it forms a semi adhehsive pellet valled a “Bolus” which is then swallowed whole and easily when it is forced by the tongue and soft pallet to the back of the throat. Food that cannot be properly chewed, as in cases whereby individuals has lost all their teeth, may find some pieces of food difficult to swallow. Food that gets stuck at the back of the throat may be accidentally forced into the rear nasal cavity.

Other cases in which food is forced into the nasal cavity may include cases in which individuals have a deformity of the pallet, tongue or a medical condition in which hardening or the inability of the pallet and tongue to contract properly, may cause food to be misdirected into the nasal cavity.

If the airway through the mouth is not blocked, nasal blockages do not present an immediate life threatening risk. However, they can be very uncomfortable. Some medical attention may be required to remove nasal blockages, although, most cases resolves themselves quite well.

Small particals of food do get sucked into the nasal cavity of many people. If the body is not able to remove them they will get infected by, staphilcoccus, streptococcus and other bacteria in the cavity of the nose. Usually, the individual in question and possibly others around him or her may experience an unpleasant smell from the bucal cavity until the offending food particle is dislodged. In other instances, although quite rare, toxins discharged from the bacteria may cause a septic sore to develop within the nasal cavity. Potentially, this may cause discomfort aand in extreme cases may even cause blood poisoning as with any other septic sore anywhere in the body.

When an offensive odor is noticed from the nasal or bocal cavity, medical advice should be sought just as a preventative measure.

noodles-187050_1920Human beings have always needed packaging in one form or another. Some of the earliest types of packaging are still around today, for example reed baskets. Initially all packaging was made from natural materials, because it had to be.

Woven bags and wooden boxes were among the first. As more materials were developed and processed they too became of use as packaging.

During the 19th century, and as a result of the industrial revolution, packaging became far more advanced. Tin cans and the first cardboard boxes emerged. Later still, in the early 20th century, plastics and aluminium were incorporated into packaging, around the same time we were becoming more and more aware of food safety and food hygiene.

We have made huge advances in both packaging and food safety.

Today packaging is a highly scientific field, it also requires technological and artistic understanding, as well as in-depth product knowledge. There are hundreds of high profile careers within the industry, including ‘Packaging Engineering’. Subjects studied for this qualification are varied, basic engineering, basic science, and business, food safety, recycling, even robotics! It is an industry that is always advancing.

Some functions of packaging;

Containment of product
Protection of product (physically and hygienically)
Product control- e.g. tamper evident opening
Product information
Marketing and branding of product/retailer
Provides controlled sized portions/amounts of product

As our global awareness of the environment increases, our priorities and requirements of what packaging should be changes. A now commonly used phrase – ‘Reduce, Re-use, Recycle’ is of great importance where packaging is concerned. Sustainable packaging is an area in which experts are particularly keen to develop.

Packaging has become more than just a means of easily transporting or containing products and is currently categorised into packaging types;

Primary – usually in direct contact with product e.g. brown kraft paper bags
Secondary- contains primary packaging and product, e.g. a multi-pack of crisp packets
Tertiary- involves warehouse storage and transport of bulk products, e.g. pallets

Within these types of packaging are more type-specific fields, e.g. drugs or food.

Food packaging is a specialist subject within the packaging industry, and works closely with the U.K’s governing body for all food legislation and safety, ‘The UK Food Standards Agency’. Food safety entails scientifically researched rulings on all aspects of food to prevent food borne illnesses.

We all expect there to be specific rules and guidelines in place for Dental Surgery Assistants, or Hospital Nurses to prevent illness or disease through the spreading of bacteria and viruses, but would you expect such rules to be in place for food? Well they are!

The UK Food Standards Agency provides the food industry and the general public with well researched, easy to access information regarding food and food safety, it also enforces laws on, for example, required standards on food packaging materials.

A great deal of scientific research is undertaken to ensure all materials which contact food at any stage of its handling is safe, from food containers, to the ink used in food product labelling. It is their responsibility to ensure the public is kept safe from harmful chemicals through related materials. There are specific rules in place for specific materials, plastics, for example have a whole list of laws for themselves.

On the UK Food Standards Agency website there are notes on ‘Guidance on the Plastic Materials and Articles in Contact with Food (England) Regulations 2009, available for associated businesses to read. It also provides information on which legal body represents particular materials, so you know who you are legally required to obey.

In 2004 a new European Regulation was introduced regarding food contact materials, and the UK Food Standards Agency was responsible for representing our countries interests. Their primary goal was ensuring UK citizens are still kept safe from risk of harmful chemicals in food contact materials when on holiday in Europe. This is also available to read on their website.

The development, research, and governance of food packaging both for supermarket food and for home-prepared food is vital not only for our convenience, but also for our safety. The next time you put your sandwiches into ‘food safe polythene bags’ or your children come home with sweets in’ candy stripe paper bags’ think how many experts have made it safe enough for us all to use.

Many thanks to the team at http://www.onlinepackagingshop.co.uk for helping with the article. When it comes to retail packaging supplies, all you need to do is visit them.

Let the click of the mouse steer you to the best place to buy Food Safe Packaging on the Internet. They have got your food safe packaging needs covered.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Christian_Schulze

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Seeing your child choking on a piece of hotdog, carrot or anything else for that matter is a very stressful experience for any parent. Here’s a few tip on how to avoid child choking. The subject of food safety also includes how we prepare food for specific groups who may encounter problems swallowing the food correctly if it’s presented to them in the wrong way.

Never feed a child anything that is hard and round always cut into strips lengthwise. Cutting this way will in no way disturb training your child how to chew corectly. This is particularly important if your child was born with a weakness of the jaw muscles or any other type of bucal cavity disorder, tongue disorder or other disorders of the oesophagus, larynx or pyloric stenitis. Some problematic types of food which demand special attention for toddlers include: hotdogs, sausages, carrots, cellery, cucumbers, olives, cheries, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, small beets, small Parisienne potatoes, melon balls, large whole beans, etc. Children may also encounter food which is difficult to swallow such as peanut butter on bread, boiled egg sandwiches and the like, so always have a glass of water on hand to help to wash those pasty dry foods down should the need arise.

Do not feed your children hard candies, boiled sweets, jelly beans, toffee, mentos, gob stoppers, wine gums, chewing gum or any tye of peanut, hazel nut, almond, macademia nut or pistachio until they are at least 7 years old. Prefer fudge, jelly babies, marsh mallows or any other soft and non round sweet.
Do not feed your children buscuits made out of fine corn starch because this can form a glue like mass that can clog the back of the throat. Likewise do not allow your child to eat any fruit with large pips and/or seeds before you take the pip or seed out.

It is also not advisable to feed children any type of fish that may contain bones until they are at least ten years old. All fish products for small children should be ground into a paste.

Common sense is the rule of thumb in preparing food for toddlers. It is not enough to think how to cut food so that it will be small enough to chew, it is also necessary to think of how to cut food so that it will not cause an obstruction of the wind pipe. A responsible attitude and forward thinking work to prevent unnecessary stress for both parent and child and can even prevent what amount to unnecessary tragedies in quite a few cases. Keep food safety in mind when preparing food for your children.

NB. Round objects in a childs mouth can be mistaken for a bolus of food which can cause the mouth’s sensory organs to become confused and to send the object to the throat cavity. By being too large to swallow the epiglottis tries to eject the foreign object from the larynx which leaves the object hovering over the open trachea. The natural instinct to take a deep breath can cause the object in question to be drawn into the wind pipe where it causes an obstruction to air flow. In the following educational film clip you will be shown how to perform safe rescue techniques on children and infants. Every parent should become familiar with these techniques.

bee-802592_1920Food safety issues in the honey industry cause global concern. Rapid decline in honey bee populations continues to elude experts.
The world watches in despair as the honey bee industry continues to take huge knocks. In recent weeks vast quantities of honey imported from China to the USA were stopped at US ports after checks showed that the honey contained low to moderate quantities of Chloramphenicol, an antibiotic which is not approved for ingestion.

If this were not enough, another major source of honey was deemed unfit for human consumption. This honey came from Brazil where honey bees pollinate genetically modifies soy bean and genetically modified sweet corn.

Honey is a natural product which has a great many healthy qualities. Enzymes in honey have been proved to be beneficial to the cardio vascular system and other enzymes within honey are thought to have very good properties in the healing of wounded tissue, both internally and externally. Genetically modified honey is accused of unbalancing the action of the enzymes within the honey and it is for this reason that many countries are refusing to permit the import of honey that comes from bees which have been raised on GM crops.

Five hundred million bees died in Germany when crops were sprayed with the wrong insecticide. This is a major financial blow for German agriculture and will be the subject of a public enquiry into the events and decision making processes that led up to the use of the said chemical and into new policy that will be directed at ensuring that pollinating bees will not be harmed in the future.

And still, in spite of all of these regretable instances, the population of bees in the world continues to rapidly decline. The name being given to this phenomenon is colony collapse disorder. I had occasion to interview bee keepers today into their opinion on the decline in honey bee numbers around the world and this was their response. ” In our opinion several factors contribute to the decline in the numbers of bees. One reason that we strongly suspect is the mobile phone technology. Antennas are everywhere and they emit high levels of radiation that cause some sort of disturbance in the way bees react. We have carried out some minor experiments and we know that it takes many bees a lot longer to return to the hive than in previous decades.

In addition we suspect that the usage of slow release insecticides is having a detrimental effect on bees. Slow release chemicals were developed several decades ago to lower the lethal dose (LD grading) of chemicals to lessen the effect of harmful chemicals on humans and to increase the longevity of the chemical’s effect upon the harmful insect population. We suspect that some of these slow release capsules are not becoming active within the advertised time framework and are being brought to the hive on the bodies of the bees. Furthermore we suspect that the environment within the hive contribute into making the potency of these chemicals greater than in open air scenarios.

Other industries cannot be ruled out as not putting stress on the physiology of the bee. The plastics industry, among others, has been pumping chemicals into the environment for decades. The concentrations of these chemicals has been slowly increasing over the years. Bees drink water in the environment where ever it is available. Lets say that bees find a water source that comes from a plastic hose pipe which has been manufactured in one of the Far East countries. It is no secret that plastics that are manufactured in the far east are not as chemically stable as those manufactured in the west but because of lower costs, crop irrigation and garden hoses are now supplied mostly from China and India. We think that the Estrogen mimics that are present in the water which has come into contact with these plastic products is also having an effect on bee populations. These chemicals could be appearing in the water that the bees drink and in the nectar that they collect.”

We can see from this report that bee keepers are very tuned into what is happening in the environment We also see that some of their concerns could well have effect on food safety issues, particularly in areas where GM crops are being grown and concerning the issue of estrogen mimics. However the major concern lies in the decline in bee populations worldwide. Could it be that the humble little bee will present us with the answers on what we need to do to avoid destroying ourselves as a species?

red-chilli-powder-289140_1920This is a report pertaining to a serious mistake or food safety misjudgement by a colleague of mine regarding a substance known as Carboxymethyl Cellulose (or CMC for short). CMC is used as a thickening agent in the food industry. It is often used in the soft drink industry, dairy industry and ice cream industry. CMC is insoluble and requires a medium to carry it in suspension until it can be mixed into the liquid product. Such mediums can be sugar syrup or a vegetable oil. It is a problematic ingredient to use that requires a great deal of worker proficiency.

Products that contain Carboxymethyl Cellulose are usually marked with the ingredient code E466. When used correctly this ingredient is considered safe and it is a good source of additional cellulose (fiber).

My friend is a very experienced food technologist and he should have known better than to do what I am about to tell you. During a visit to his doctor he was advised to add more fiber to his diet. No being a great eater of vegetables my friend decided to find a more creative solution to adding fiber to his diet. At first he targeted dietary supplement that are available at any health food store or pharmacy. After a while he decided that these products were too expensive and so he started to look for even more creative solutions to adding fibre to his diet.

Working in the food industry meant that he had access to many types of raw materials. Initially he started to drink industrial grade pectin which he mixed in a little syrup using a blender and once the pectin was suspended in the syrup he then added fruit juice. Seemingly, bit by bit he turned himself into a sort of human guinea pig and decided to become more ambitious in his quest for the ideal fiber to reduce his cholesterol levels.

He decided to experiment with CMC. Starting with quite low proportions he slowly got more ambitious and began to steadily increase the dosage. After not seeing my friend for some time I decided to call his wife to find out what had happened to him. On hearing my voice his wife immediately burst into tears and told me the story about the CMC and went on to tell me that he had developed a very severe intestinal blockage and that the only way to save him was by opening his intestine in several places to extract the lumps of carboxymethyl cellulose that had formed inside his gut.

I decided to tell you this story to emphasize the point of exactly how dangerous it can be to use food ingredients in ways for which they are not intended to be used. My friend, who is actually an expert in food hygiene and food safety fell pray to his own need to medicate himself cheaply. He wagered that his knowledge and experience were enough to take a calculated risk in using industrial grade materials for use on himself in ways which had never been tested. Now he is paying the price for that mistake.

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You will find the transcript of a recent article below in which US officials blatantly play down the dangers of  food poisoning by stating that overall although food poisoning is very unpleasant it does not cause many deaths.

I would like to stongly protest against this type of polotician’s manipulation of facts and misreprisentation of the function and the environmental importance of the food hygiene authorities. Yes, I agree that overall there are not so many deaths caused by food poisoning compared to some other forms of death. But is not heart attack brought on by the ingestion of too much salt in the diet a type of food safety issue? And is not every death of a person poisoned by food one too many? What kind of talk is this? Not to mention the suffering of hundreds of sick people. This is a pointless statement the purpose of which is merely to shift attention from the issue at hand to other areas of concern.

It is true that food hygiene inspectors are hard pressed to cover all their territory but their work is crucial because it keeps the awareness of the need for food hygiene in the mind’s eye of suppliers. If only consumers knew how many times they walked on a food hygiene knife edge during the course of their lives!

The potential for catastrophy in areas of food contamination is extreme. Bacteria such as Yerisinia, Anthrax,vibrio, tuberculosis, clostridium, listeria salmonella, e-coli, mycotoxins from molds, amoeba, virus’ and deadly parasites are but a hairs breath away from being put on out tables, literally. It doe’s not take much laxing of reglation enforcent in the area of food hygiene to reach a level where these bacteria will be commonly ingested. Unscrupulous people who are always on the look out for the chance to make a quick buck will exploit any and every opportunity which comes their way. If they get the chance.

Emplyees who do not receive sick days from their employer will do everythig they can to mask the fact that they are in no condition to work with food. People who are not educated in hygienic ways from their home environment will do everything to avoid washing hands, cleaning under nails, showering and brushing teeth simply because they hate being told what to do by others especially if their superiors are not part of their own cultural groups.

In addition I would not advise people, especially the elderly, to eat too much peanut butter!

I consider the comments made in this article to be highly irresponsible. See if you agree with me.

The Article

“ALBANY — After an outbreak that sickened hundreds and brought the peanut industry under the spotlight, officials addressed public concerns on food safety.
As a finale to the health department’s “Lunch and Learn” series, officials presented a presentation on prevention of food borne illnesses Thursday.

“Part of leading a healthy life, is handling food in a correct manner,” Dougherty County Environmental Health Director Jim Pericaud said.

Based on Thursday’s presentation, officials estimate that one is 130 times more likely to die from a heart attack than a food borne illness. Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that 200 diseases are transmitted through food, with 76 million such cases occurring each year. Of those, 325,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die.

“Food poisoning does not have a high morality rate, but it’s not a pleasant occurrence,” Pericaud said.

In essence, the best advice is to practice basic food safety at home and to examine restaurant procedures. At restaurants, the advice given by Pericaud was to pay attention to food temperature, employee conduct (i.e. hand washing, hair restraints) and to inspect the dining room environment.

“If customer areas are not being kept clean, the kitchen is probably just as bad or worse,” Pericaud said.

Part of practicing food safety can also pertain to grocery shopping. The best method is to shop for the frozen food items last, to ensure they do not spoil, and to check the code dates on items as well as the general housekeeping of the store.

“You want (frozen food items) in the freezer until the last possible minute,” Pericaud said. “Don’t let that food spoil.”

At home, officials recommend people to practice proper thawing and cooking practices, serve food immediately after cooking, put leftovers away and to clean and sanitize food contact surfaces with a capful to a gallon of water worth of bleach.

In regards to the food that may be left behind, or even before the food is cooked in the first place, what makes a difference in how much bacteria is on the food comes down to temperature.

“Over time, anything you put in the refrigerator will grow bacteria,” he said. “If you put food in the freezer, that stops bacteria growth dead.”

For thawing in particular the microwave, the refrigerator, a cold stream of water or even putting food on the stove frozen all work as good methods. Although, before any of that is done, it is always best to conduct a practice common for preventing bacterial transmission — hand washing.

“The hands transmit a lot of bacteria,” Pericaud said. “Even if you wash your hands with regular soap you are going good.”

At the end of his presentation, Pericaud pulled out a peanut butter sandwich and began to eat it — which answered a question that has been on a number of minds after a salmonella scare sickened hundreds nationwide.

“Peanut butter is a very safe and nutritious type of food,” he said. “I would not stop eating peanut butter.”

Pericaud’s presentation wrapped up a four-day series which has been held in observance of National Public Health Week, and attracted more than 150 people. Given the attention it pulled, officials are confident that the series successfully carried out the health department’s mission.

“This goes back to our main areas of our work, which is prevention. Every year we have so many illnesses because of how food is handled,” Dougherty County Health Department Adult Health Director Vamella Lovett said. “(The series) was very successful. It’s outstanding people took the time to come out.”

Pericaud’s presentation was one of two held Thursday. The other offering was “Be Active: Walk, Run, Roll,” by David Cooper, health promotion coordinator for the Southwest Health District”.

© 2019 Food Hygiene Essentials