Food can become unsafe to eat when it is contaminated with illness-causes bacteria, parasites, viruses or chemicals. Your symptoms can range from mild to severe, but most commonly they include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, weakness, diarrhea, fever and chills. In some severe cases, foodborne illness can lead to hospitalization and even death.
Food can become contaminated at any stage of processing, production, storage, distribution or preparation. Bacteria can grow faster than you would expect and pose a safety risk. For example, If you leave chilled raw foods like dairy products or meat at room temperature for too long, these foods could be harmful to you.
All practices used to keep our food safe fall under food safety. Our food safety relies on the efforts of everyone involved in our food supplying process. All along the food chain, from the farmers and producers to the retailers and the caterers, legislation and controls are put in place to ensure that the risk of contamination is reduced or eliminated.
Do we take our food for granted?
Food related media on television, online and in books are becoming much more popular. Despite this, food safety is very often overlooked. For example, many cooking shows do not show the chefs following the basic safe food handling rules.
There are a lot of recent food trends that have focused on the perceived superiority and healthfulness of unprocessed or natural foods. While fresh foods definitely have a big role to play in any healthy diet, these trend can often lead to the tendency to underestimate the important benefits which processing techniques like pasteurization, canning or freezing could provide in terms of shelf life and safety. For example, vegetables that are tinned can stay safe to eat for years; they are convenient and affordable too.
These types of trends are concerning when they lead to risky food choices, for example, when it comes to raw milk products, they are becoming much more popular even though they have been linked to outbreaks of Campylobacter, Listeria and Salmonella. On the other hand, there is pasteurization, which is cheap, simple and effective at eliminating these microbes and not having much effect on the nutritional value of the milk.
At Blue Shirt Bakery we take food safety very seriously. Our products are manufactured in a registered food manufacturing facility and we comply with the standards set out by the Intertec food safety assessment. For More information, visit our website on www.blueshirtbakery.co.za.