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ENVIRONMENT AROUND FOOD – DOES IT MATTER?

Understanding Environment around Food

In simple words, Environment around Food refers to surroundings where the food items are manufactured, processed, stored and transported. It can be processing units, storage areas, warehouses and transportation vehicles. These are the areas which can affect the quality of your food items. Environment around food is area which has high impact on your food quality.

How Environment around Food can impact Food Quality

A food processing unit, which does not have clean and hygienic environment around it can lead to contamination from various sources. This contamination results in growth of various microbes which degrade the quality of food which can lead to various diseases in human body when consumed. For example, in a flour mill if proper hygiene is not maintained many microbes grow in machines which will be in regular contact of flour and raw material. The flour now contains microbes which will manipulate many folds and can cause diseases when consumed. Recently, Nipah virus case in southern India was in news. The bananas contaminated by virus when eaten by bats were consumed by humans caused serious health issues. Those bananas if were kept in environment safe from bats or any other such agents causing contamination would have been safe for human consumption. Many food safety norms are now implemented to avoid any serious health hazards.

How to keep Environment around Food Safe

To keep environment around food safe and hygienic, first thing to do is to follow instructions provided by FSSAI and other Food Safety regulators. A good management can follow ones household kitchen where the food is cooked. You can draw multiple tips and methods to make environment around food safe from your own household kitchen. For example, proper dusting and cleaning of processing unit by professionals using cleaning materials recommended by food safety regulators. People working in food processing units should be medically fit. Use of proper accessories like gloves, aprons, shoe cover, head masks etc. are advisable. If you are using water in your food processing units, the water should be properly treated to remove any contamination. The storage area should be free from rodents, insects and other organisms which can cause potential harm to food items. Also, these organisms carry lot of microbes with them which can infect food and cause serious health hazard on consumption.

To conclude, Yes environment around food does matters and no matter wherever food is produced, manufactured, processed, stored, transported all these areas should be properly managed in order to keep food safe and fit for consumption.

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