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What are the steps of a sanitary inspection?

Food Hygiene News 17 May

In a world where our plates have become risky playgrounds, health checks are transformed into everyday superheroes. Recent stories have rocked grocery stores and kitchens around the world: massive recalls of contaminated food have shaken our fridges, and outbreaks of disease have turned our meals into minefields. In this context, understanding how and what are the steps of a sanitary control becomes essential to ensure the safety of the food we consume.

1) The steps of a sanitary control

Prior Preparation:
Before the health check, the inspection team prepares by reviewing relevant documents such as HACCP plans, temperature records, cleaning procedures, etc. This step provides a better understanding of the processes and risks associated with the food establishment.

Arrival on site:
Inspectors visit the food establishment site at inspect. They identify themselves to the local manager and announce the purpose of their visit.

Visual Exam:
A visual inspection is carried out to assess the general conditions of hygiene and cleanliness of the establishment. This includes the condition of premises, equipment, staff, as well as compliance with good hygiene practices.

Verification of HACCP Procedures:
Inspector reviews establishment HACCP plans to ensure relevance and correct application. Also checks associated documentation, such as temperature records, pH readings, cleaning protocols, etc.

Samples may be taken on site for analysis in the laboratory to detect the presence of contaminants or pathogenic microorganisms. These tests help assess compliance with food safety standards.

Staff Interview:
The inspector also conducts interviews with plant staff or the plant director to discuss hygiene practices, training and food safety procedures.

Drafting the Inspection Report:
At the end of the inspection, the inspector writes a detailed report summarizing his observations, findings and recommendations. This report is usually given to the establishment manager for corrective action if necessary.

What are the reasons for implementing health control?

Health controls are implemented systematically to ensure food safety and protect the health of consumers. These controls are often governed by laws and regulations issued by the relevant health and government authorities. Here are some reasons why health checks are organized in this way:

1. Public Health Risk Prevention:

Health controls aim to identify and prevent risks to public health associated with the consumption of food contaminated or not complying with hygiene standards. By acting preventively, the control authorities help to reduce cases of food-borne illness and protect the population.

2. Application of Standards and Standards:

Food safety laws and regulations set standards that food establishments must comply with. The existing laws are:

The Public Health Code: It contains provisions relating to food hygiene, food safety, and the conditions for the production, distribution and marketing of food products.

Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food legislation, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures for the safety of foodstuffs: This regulation sets out the general principles of food legislation applicable in the European Union.

Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on food hygiene: This regulation establishes specific hygiene rules for food business operators.

Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 laying down specific hygiene rules applicable to foodstuffs of animal origin: This regulation specifically concerns the hygiene of foodstuffs of animal origin.

3. Maintaining Consumer Confidence:

The implementation of strict health controls strengthens consumer confidence in food products. By knowing that the authorities are looking after food quality and safety, consumers are more likely to buy and consume with peace of mind.

4. Responsibility of Food Chain Actors:

Health controls encourage food chain actors, including producers, processors, distributors and restaurateurs, to take responsibility for food safety. By being subject to regular inspections, these actors are encouraged to maintain high standards of hygiene and safety.

5. Risk Identification and Management:

Health controls make it possible to identify critical points in the food production chain where risks to food safety may occur. By using HACCP software such as traqfood, regulators and companies can proactively implement preventive measures to manage these risks.

In summary, health controls are organized in this way to ensure compliance with food safety standards, prevent risks to public health, maintain consumer confidence and empower food chain actors. These controls are often supported by laws and regulations to ensure consistent and effective enforcement of food safety standards.

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