FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (F.A.Q.)
WHAT IS DESCRIBED AS “FOOD”?
The Codex Alimentarius defines ‘Food’ as “any substance, whether processed, semi-processed or raw, which is intended for human consumption and includes drink, chewing gum and any substance which has been used in the manufacture, preparation or treatment of food, but does not include cosmetics or tobacco or substances only used as drugs”.
WHAT DOES MEAN “FOOD SAFETY”?
Is about ensuring that food does not cause injury or harm to consumers when it is prepared and / or eaten according to its intended use.
WHAT DOES MEAN “FOOD HYGIENE”?
All conditions and measures necessary to ensure the safety and suitability of food at all stages of the food chain.
WHAT IS QUALITY CONTROL (QC)?
Quality control may be defined as a planned system of activities whose purpose is to provide a quality product (FAO Food and Nutrition Paper No. 14/1 Rev 1). QC, often known as quality inspection, consists of carrying out checks at various points in the manufacturing system e.g. net weight, acidity, colour. It was the first formal control mechanism introduced at the start of the last century. Inspection can only segregate good from bad – it cannot by itself improve the quality of a processed product.
WHAT DO WE DEFINE AS “QUALITY ASSURANCE”?
Quality assurance may be defined as a planned system of activities whose purpose is to provide assurance that the quality control program is actually effective.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “QUALITY CONTROL” AND “ QUALITY ASSURANCE”?
In contrast to QC, QA looks at the whole process – from purchase of materials, through the manufacturing process, to the point at which the consumer uses the food.
WHAT IS “TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT (TQM)”?
TQM is a set of proactive methods, all of which continuously contribute to improving a food processing enterprise, or indeed any enterprise, and the safety of its products.
WHAT IS THE CORRECT DEFINITION OF “GOOD MANUFACTURING PRACTICE (GMP)”?
In practice it is difficult to locate a satisfactory scientific working definition of GMP. CODEX does not use the expression GMP but rather refers to Codes of Practice. GMP may be defined as that part of a food control operation aimed at ensuring that products are consistently manufactured to a specified quality appropriate to their intended use. It thus has two complementary and interacting components; the manufacturing operation itself and the control system and procedures. (IFST, 1998)
“SANITATION STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SSOPS)”?
SSOPs are documented descriptions of the programmed cleaning and maintenance procedures which are carried out in the processing plant and are designed to prevent direct contamination or adulteration of the meat product. SSOPs include pre-operational and in process measures and specify the frequency of enactment of all measures specified. The SSOP must give clear responsibility for the cleaning to an individual(s) and any alternations must be recorded.
They are best applied to the plant environment (e.g. plant cleaning and hygiene) whereas HACCP (see below) is targeted towards the hazards which are identified as posing a particular threat to the particular product or process characteristics.
WHAT IS A CRITICAL CONTROL POINT (CCP) ?
Is a step at which control can be applied in a food process (stable to table) and is essential to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.
WHAT IS HAZARD ANALYSIS CRITICAL CONTROL POINT (HACCP)?
HACCP is a systems management approach to food safety management. It is a system that identifies, evaluates and controls hazards that are significant for food safety.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAZARD AND RISK?
A hazard is a physical, chemical or biological agent, in, or condition of food with the potential to cause an adverse health effect.
A risk is an estimate of the probability and severity of the adverse health effects in exposed populations, consequential to the hazards in food.
Understanding the association between a reduction in hazards that may be associated with a food, and the reduction in the risk to consumers of adverse health effects is of particular importance in the development of an appropriate food safety control system.
ABOUT ISO 9000 QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS.
ISO 9000 is a family of integrated standards that describe a basic set of elements from which a quality management system can be evolved.
It currently comprises 26 documents. Three (9001/2/3) contain the specifications of a quality control system. The rest provide guidance, principles, terminology and tools.
WHEN MILK IS DEFINED AS “CLEAN”?
Clean milk may be defined as milk that is “wholesome and free from foreign matter”. Clean Milk is generally defined as milk drawn from the udder of healthy animals, which is collected in clean dry milking pails and free from extraneous matters like dust, dirt, flies, hay, manure, extraneous water, and drug residues and contains relatively small numbers of bacteria none of which are pathogenic to humans.
WHAT IS MILK QUALITY CONTROL?
Milk quality control is the use of approved tests to ensure the application of approved practices, standards and regulations concerning the milk and milk products. the tests are designed to ensure that milk products meet accepted standards for chemical composition and purity as well as levels of different micro-organisms.
WHY HAVE MILK QUALITY CONTROL?
Testing milk and milk products for quality and monitoring that MILK PRODUCTS, PROCESSORS and MARKETING AGENCIES adhere to accepted codes of practices costs money. The good reasons why we have to have a quality control system for the dairy industry are:
- To the Milk Producer. The milk producer expects a fair price in accordance with the quality of milk she/he produces.
- The Milk Processor. The milk processor who pays the producer must assure himself/herself that the milk received for processing is of normal composition and is suitable for processing into various dairy products.
- The Consumer. The consumer expects to pay a fair price for milk and milk products of acceptable to excellent quality.
- The Public and Government Agencies. These have to ensure that the health and nutritional status of the people is protected from consumption of contaminated and sub-standard foodstuffs and that prices paid are fair to the milk producers, the milk processor and the final consumer. All the above-is only possible through institution of a workable quality testing and assurance system conforms to national or internationally acceptable standards.
WHY IS FOOD SAFETY IMPORTANT?
Many consumers worldwide consume livestock products on a daily basis because they are nutritious and necessary for human health and growth. However, livestock products are the most susceptible class of food products to contamination. Primarily this is in microbial form and includes such effective microbes as Escherichia Coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter. Unfortunately, milk, meat and eggs are ideal substrates for all these microbes that kill hundreds of thousands of people every year. Especially in developing country, limited resource base for livestock product production – need to use all that is produced safely and efficiently. Food spoilage is resource wasteful, costly and can adversely affect trade and consumer confidence.
WHAT IS “CODEX ALIMENTARIUS”?
The Codex Alimentarius , or the Food Code, is a global reference point for consumes, food producers and processors, national food control agencies and the international food trade on food safety. The code has had an enormous impact on the thinking of food producers and processors as well as on the awareness of the end users – the consumers. The Codex Alimentarius presents a unique opportunity for all countries to join the international community in formulating and harmonizing food standards and ensuring their global implementation.
WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF “SMALL SCALE” IN MILK PROCESSING?
FAO describe as “Small-Scale” dairy processing, milk processing units which process less than 5,000 liters per day; very small-scale processing centers are those that process less than 500 liters per day.
WHAT IS PASTEURISATION?
Pasteurization is a technique to render milk safe for human consumption by destroying all pathogenic bacteria. This is achieved by heating milk at 63ºC for 30 min in batch pasteurizer or 72ºC for 15 seconds in heat exchanger.