HOW SAFE IS THE FOOD WE EAT?
HOW IS THE QUALITY OF THE FOOD WE PURCHASE, ENSURED?
Consumers are concerned with regards to these frequently asked questions and news from the media make them even more pressing. In the past, food scandals have surfaced, mainly due to animal diseases. However, some of these diseases have little or no impact on the human food chain. Others may pose a risk of food borne transmission, but their impact on human health can be minimized through a combination of practical animal health control and food hygiene measures.
In modern food processing plants, in farms and in animal slaughterhouses, prevention and control measures are required in order to ensure the quality of the end products. This means that all the units and companies involved in the food chain are required to operate under a certified food quality management system.
In order to ensure product safety the European Union established, and is now a legislative requirement for all companies involved in the food chain, the application of the HACCP system (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points).
The HACCP system is based on the simple logic that:
“AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE”
HACCP was initially developed in the 60s, in the United States to safeguard the food that would be supplied and consumed by the NASA astronauts. The program was designed not only to meet the strictest quality standards for the end product, but also to closely monitor all aspects of the production process, ensuring the exclusion of as many potential risks, in a space environment, as possible.
The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) is the risk analysis of food, so as to eliminate and control the potential biological, chemical or physical hazards that may affect the quality of the final product. The HACCP system begins with the control of raw materials, ingredients and packaging materials, and continues throughout the processing, storage, packaging and handling of products. The companies that operate a quality system must provide detailed documentation proving that they have an effective HACCP system in place and that this system is not only implemented but also functions properly and effectively and is suitable for the required level of product safety.
Food safety is a shared responsibility of all those involved, “from farm to fork.” Although food safety is a high priority throughout the food chain up to the point of sale, safety measures and food hygiene are even more important during storage, handling and preparation at home. Consequently, consumers must also share the responsibility for food safety at home and adhere to a few simple procedures to minimize the risk of food borne illness.
These can be summarized according to the “5 keys to safer food” strategy of the World Health Organization (WHO):
- Keep areas and food preparation equipment clean and thoroughly wash your hands before preparing or eating food.
- Separate raw and cooked food both in storage and during preparation.
- Cook meat thoroughly at temperatures above 70 ° C in order to destroy dangerous microorganisms
- Keep food at safe temperatures, less than 5 ° C or greater than 60 ° C, in order to inhibit the growth of microorganisms
- Use safe water and raw materials, avoiding the consumption of unprocessed meat or eggs, unpasteurized milk and untreated water.
Our company applies the HACCP system in accordance with the requirements of the international standard ISO 22000: 2005 and is certified for the adequacy of its procedures and the functionality of its system by the TUV HELLAS certification body since 2006. The company also operates a quality management system in accordance with the requirements of international standard ISO 9001: 2008.