Category Archives: Food safety

FAO/WHO HACCP – Free Online Technical Manual

Click the image to visit the webpage

This is a comprehensive manual, published by the FAO, that allows the user to carry out HACCP analyses and plans in preparation for the formal implementation by a certified practitioner.

This is actually a training of the trainer document so also provides a broader background than a simple HACCP manual. Section 1 reviews principles and methods of training; Section 2 introduces and elucidates the Codex Alimentarius General Principles of Food Hygiene; and Section 3 explains the HACCP system and its implementation. Each section is made up of specific training modules which can be combined and customized to meet the specific needs of the students.

How Do You Process Food In The Open Air?

I’ve recently come across images and videos of processing outside and started wondering how this is controlled and how the products of such processing are accepted by countries with strict import quality standards. Here’s an example of a chili drying operation in West Africa.


My first INTERNET search was not that productive. Do any of you have links or contacts I could follow up on to try and get an understanding which I would publish here.

First things that come to mind are:

  • Rooibos had a major quality problem some years back, that the story goes was caused by birds flying over their drying area
  • All that high cost, nutritious, organic, sun dried fruit is dried in the open
  • Indoor processors often wear gloves, overalls, hats and even masks while outdoors the food is exposed to whatever is there
  • Not even the term used is very clear some Chinese processors talk of Garden Factories, engineers use open processing and open air processing also applies to food markets.
  • So how do these fit together and what else is processed in the open? I would be interested to hear from any of you who have information to offer.

    HACCP in Food Service – Free Online Information

    This 80 plus page book by the World Health Organisation lays out the process of establishing HACCP management in a Food Service environment. 

     click image to download report

    The first question is whether a manual on Food Service Will be useful to a food processor. The answer is that the process is identical whereever it is applied and that reading the manual written specifically about a food service operation improves the comprehension as we all know the principles of cooking. Other manuals either present information theoretically or choose a manufacturing process you may not understand.

    The book is clearly and simply written and covers all the necessary information.

    Meat Processing Technology For SMEs – Free Online Information

    This 450 page book is an amazing resource for the aspirant meat processor. It covers everything from meat to plant cleaning in great detail.

    Meat Processing Technology For SMEs 1

    from: UN FAO
    (click image for full story online)

    Meat, processes and equipment are described in detail with supporting diagrams and photographs. Processing is described based on the processing principles six classes of meat products defined in the manual and on selected processes. Understanding the difficulty in the hygienic aspects of food processing the manual has a strong focus on Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Schemes (HACCP), which are discussed in detail in the manual. But realizing the complexity of the process it also supplies much background information to allow a good understanding but also describes in practical detail cleaning and sanitation practices.

    This appears to really be a very good and comprehensive technology reference manual. It does not address market and business issues.

    A Practical & Understandable Food Quality Manual For Small Processors

    While it is true that the food quality requirements that will apply to your business are a function of your consumer and the local regulations, this manual written for Romania within the context of the EU market, offers a very useful view of food hygiene, safety for small processors and online food safety course.

    Clip of web document covering Food Safety & Hygene

    from: Fundatia-Adept
    (click image for full story online)

    The manual consists basically of the answers to 23 frequently asked questions, that cover a wide range of topics. It also presents the range of regulation and where to source them, gives an example of an application form and label information.

    It also 3 issues that guide how a small business would approach having for the first time to apply regulation in their business.

    1. The small producer is responsible for the health of those who consume his products. The two main principles are food hygiene and food traceability.

    To continue selling your food, you must fulfill certain food safety rules, which include: registration, and meeting production standards

    2. The new regulations are simplified for small producers, especially in areas with specific geographical disadvantages.

    Small producers do not need to meet the same production standards as industrial producers. This is EU and Romanian Government policy, to help small producers survive:
    • the authorities will be flexible as regards the utensils and safety measures which are imposed on small producers, as long as they meet minimum food hygiene conditions
    • requirements will be adapted in order to support traditional production methods and to support producers in areas with specific geographical disadvantages.

    3. Funding and free advice are available to help small producers to meet their new obligations, to continue their activities and to prosper in the EU.

    Together these form a system under which small processors who were previously not covered by hygiene regulations can enter the formal system.


    Advanced Journal of Food Science and Technology – Open Source Journal

    This journal started in 2009 has already published four editions in 2010. Although editorial staff is international there does appear to be an operation focus on Indian accademics.

    Maxwell Science_Journal Page.jpg

    from: Maxwell
    (click image for full story online)

    The first five editions appear to have quite a strong focus on West African studies, mainly in the analytical area (chemical and microbial) and often focussed on local produce.

    Salmonella Results in the Recall of 550 Million Eggs

    You have probably read of the recall of 550 million eggs in the USA because of a risk that they could carry salmonella. The article explains in some detail how it happens that eggs, which appear to be well packaged in a pretty impervious shell, come to contain salmonella.

    How Does Salmonella Get Into Eggs? _ Discovery News.jpg

    from: Discovery News
    (click image for full story online)

    Seems the salmonella either comes through the chicken, which is not affected by being infected, or enter through the shell from a dirty environment after they have been laid.

    Well cooked or pasteurised eggs are safe, while foods that use raw eggs such as mayonnaise and eggnog are a potential danger.