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Frequently Asked Questions

What is described as “food”?

According to Codex Alimentarius ‘food means 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 ‘food safety’ mean?

According to Codex Alimentarius ‘food means 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 ‘food hygiene’ mean?

According to Codex Alimentarius ‘food means 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 ‘Quality Control (QC)’ mean?

According to Codex Alimentarius ‘food means 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 do we define as ‘Quality Assurance (QA)’?

According to Codex Alimentarius ‘food means 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 is the difference between ‘quality control’ and ‘quality assurance’?

According to Codex Alimentarius ‘food means 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’.

Why is milk quality control important?

While milk quality control incurs costs related to testing milk products and ensuring adherence to established standards by milk producers, processors, and marketing agencies, it also brings forth benefits to all stakeholders in the milk industry. The significance of implementing a quality control system in the dairy industry is as follows:

  • For Milk Producers: Ensuring fair prices for the quality of milk they produce.
  • For Milk Processors: Verifying the received milk’s suitability for processing into various dairy products.
  • For Consumers: Expecting reasonable prices for high-quality milk and milk products.
  • For Public and Government Agencies: Safeguarding public health by preventing consumption of contaminated or sub-standard food, while maintaining equitable compensation for everyone, the producer, the processor, and the consumer. This can be achieved through a functional quality testing and assurance system aligned with national or internationally accepted standards.
Why is food safety important?

According to Codex Alimentarius ‘food means 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 ‘total quality management (TQM)’ refer to?

‘TQM’ is a set of proactive methods that consistently enhance the operations of a food processing or any other enterprise, along with the safety of its products.

What does ‘Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)’ refer to?

Defining GMP precisely can be challenging. While CODEX terms it as ‘Codes of Practice’, GMP entails a food control aspect that strives to ensure products are consistently manufactured at a quality level suitable for their intended use. This consists of both the manufacturing process and the accompanying control system and procedures. (IFST, 1998)

What are ‘Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs)?

SSOPs refer to documented procedures of scheduled cleaning and maintenance protocols performed within a processing plant. They aim to prevent direct contamination or adulteration of a product. SSOPs include pre-operational and in-process measures, outlining their frequency. These procedures must designate individuals responsible for cleaning and any modifications must be recorded.

Primarily, SSOPs are suited for plant environment aspects like cleaning and hygiene, while HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) focuses on identified hazards that pose specific threats to a particular product or process characteristics.

What is a ‘Critical Control Point (CCP)’?

A Critical Control Point (CCP) is a stage in food processing (from stable to table) where control measures can be implemented. CCP is crucial for preventing or eliminating a food safety hazard or lowering it to an acceptable level.

What does milk quality control entail?

Milk quality control involves using authorized tests to ensure the implementation of approved practices, standards, and regulations regarding milk and milk products. These tests are designed to ensure that milk products adhere to established standards for chemical composition, purity, and levels of various microorganisms.

When is milk considered clean?

Clean milk is defined as milk that is ‘wholesome and free from foreign matter’. It is typically milk coming from healthy animals, collected in clean, dry milking pails, and free from contaminants like dust, dirt, flies, hay, manure, extraneous water, and drug residues. Clean milk contains relatively few bacteria, none of which are harmful to humans.

What is ‘Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)’?

HACCP is a systematic management approach to food safety. It is a system designed to identify, assess, and manage significant hazards related to food safety.

What is the distinction between hazard and risk?

A hazard is a potential source of harm within food, arising from physical, chemical, or biological factors. In contrast, risk assesses the likelihood and severity of adverse health outcomes linked to hazards in food. Recognizing how mitigating hazards reduces risk is crucial for the development of an effective food safety control system.

What is important to know about ISO 9000 quality management systems?

ISO 9000 is a set of standards outlining foundational components for building a quality management system. This set of standards includes 26 documents, out of which the three (9001/2/3) outline quality control system specifications, while the others offer guidance, principles, terminology, and tools.

What is the Codex Alimentarius?

The Codex Alimentarius, also known as the Food Code, serves as a global reference for consumers, food producers, processors, national food control agencies, and the international food trade, focusing on food safety. This code has greatly influenced the perspectives of food producers, processors, and consumers alike. 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?

As described by the FAO, in the context of milk processing, ‘small-scale’ refers to dairy processing units that handle a volume of less than 5,000 litres per day. Additionally, ‘very small-scale’ dairy processing units are those that manage less than 500 litres per day.

What is pasteurisation?

Pasteurization is a method used to ensure the safety of milk for human consumption by eliminating all harmful bacteria. This is achieved by heating milk at 63ºC for 30 min in a batch pasteurizer or 72ºC for 15 seconds in a heat exchanger.