What is food manual handling ?
Manual handling of food is the practice of transporting food to and from places such as restaurants, grocery stores, and hospitals in ways that prevent the spread of pathogens. In order to avoid getting sick while preparing or eating food, it is important to wash your hands before and after touching raw meat, poultry, fish, seafood, shellfish, fruits, and vegetables. It is also a good idea to store raw meats at the bottom of your refrigerator or freezer. It's just not enough to simply wash your hands if you don't know what manual handling of food involves. This article is an overview of different types of manual handling for food.
Food Manual Handling- What You Need to Know and Why It Matters
What is food manual handling?
Manual handling is the when food and other food-related products are moved through transfer, warehousing, preparation, and packaging. If not trained properly, manual handling can become dangerous to the workers involved with these tasks.
The first step in creating a safe environment for workers is to implement a manual handling training program focused on Food Safety. This program should be mandatory for all workers and train specific techniques on different kinds of equipment to ensure safe manual food handling.
It's always important to make sure your employees have been thoroughly trained on Food Safety and understand Hazard Analysis in order to avoid injuries or costly damages.
Why does food manual handling matter?
Food handling has always been an important part of the food industry. Food contamination has grown every year due to the increase in production and consumption. The FDA estimates foodborne illnesses caused from contaminated foods have cost Americans $152 billion annually.
Today's advancements with technology have brought up concerns as they relate to manual handling and Food Safety. Industry professionals are working on new methods to handle their products through automation. This article will features some ways to increase safer food manual handling practices.
Handling food is a difficult task.
When you are handling food, there is always a risk of the food becoming contaminated or unsafe for consumption.
How to practice safe food manual handling
The manual handling of food is a fundamental task carried out by most employees in the food industry. A staff that works with food going out to the public must be well-trained on safety matters. Correct and thorough training of staff is crucial.
One way to train staff members is to have them practice their skills during mock situations. As an example, role playing or asking questions during a pre-shift meeting can keep employees skills and knowledge sharp. Another method is to introduce a training program where they get a refresher on why food safety during manual handling is important and what to do.
The effects of food manual handling
Manual handling is a common risk assessment for those working with food. If not done with the proper safety measures, food manual handling can lead to illnesses. Foodborne illnesses can spread from the restaurant staff onto the food and to the public. When that happens, it can result in major losses for your company.
According to the CDC, 30% of all foodborne illness outbreaks are linked directly to manual handling. However, simply by maintaining safety measures within your company you'll be able to minimize the risks of manual handling and keep your employees safe.
To minimize the risk of bacteria spreading you should implement these methods-
- Designate specific work areas where to minimize manual handling
- Train your employees
- Develop proper procedures
How to improve food manual handling
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a report on food waste recently that highlighted waste in the US. The study found that up to 40% of food is wasted at home. It found an additional 20% was wasted during processing and delivery. The surprising result saw that only 1/5 of food is actually eaten.
Even more alarming studies from the USDA found that nearly 20 billion pounds of food are tossed out every year. According to the report, much of this waste could be prevented by proper food handling and storage. Food waste could be reduced with better practices for manual handling and storing produce in particular.
How do you store food? What are the risks of manual handling?
You don’t want to be wasteful, but you also don’t want to compromise on your health.
Food manual handling and our health
There are a variety of reasons why food contamination is a big problem. In the US, there have been over 48 million reported cases of illness, with over 750,000 hospitalizations and 5 deaths every year. Allergies to food can cause complications like eczema, asthma, and other allergic reactions.
Gastrointestinal diseases including irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease are also up in both men and women. The list goes on with things like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, depression and more. Who knows what's the reason behind these health issues but it might be time to take a closer look at our food manual handling practices!
Conclusion to food manual handling
Safe Food handling is important for those working around food. Learning the basic skills of proper food manual handling can minimize the risk of foodborne illness. To reiterate what this article touched on, these are a few key points on how to handle food in a safe manner.
- washing hands with soap and water
- wearing gloves when working with food
- separating raw and ready-to-eat foods
- checking your equipment before use
- and understanding the different types of sanitation guidelines.
Food is a very personal thing.
You might be asking yourself why food manual handling matters at all.