The hygiene of food

18th of December 2015
The hygiene of food

From Italy, Anna Garbagna reports on hygiene processes in the food preparation industry.

Afidamp recently organised a conference within Expo 2015: a specific analysis on the food industry – organised by Istituto Piepoli – to highlight the critical areas to intervene in to improve the food production process.

The purpose of the survey, in line with the theme launched by EXPO and linked to food was to verify the state of the art of processes to guarantee cleanliness and sanification in food industries, with specific reference to air quality and the control of ventilation ducts.

Between July and September, 251 companies were interviewed. It emerged that for two companies out of three, cleaning costs weigh less than five per cent of the production process while for eight companies out of 10 this cost has not changed for at least three years and it will be much the same in the future. In eight cases out of 10 cleaning is carried out in-house.

In general, in light of the relationship between the food industry and hygiene, it must be noted that if on the one hand over 70 per cent of the companies of the sector show themselves as particularly virtuous by using professional products, on the other hand 40 per cent of companies are inadequate on the matter of training, which is not provided in specific areas. Training also definitely represents a critical point for the 20 per cent of businesses which outsource cleaning because almost 60 per cent do not require the cleaning company to carry out training specific to the food industry.

There is also another weak point: in one case out of two, the checks to verify the level of cleaning are not carried out creating a clear division between companies which are part of associations of employers which already have in place a system of final checks and those which are not part of any association. This prove the great contribution that associations can bring by helping companies to raise standards by way of a more scrupulous attention to hygiene.

87 per cent of companies resort to an HACCP consultant, while only two companies out of 10 entrust a technical consultant for cleaning (it seems a DIY vision of cleaning is predominant).
Fortunately even if they are considered more expensive, professional products are used by 73 per cent of companies while only 13 per cent use only domestic products - the remaining 14 per cent use both.

Almost six companies out of 10 of those that use their own members of staff, carry out cleaning training courses. But four out of 10 companies are not aware of the importance of training.

Another important aspect was the high perception towards hygienic inspection and cleaning of aeration ducts, which is carried out annually by about 65 per cent of companies. But only 17 per cent of companies uses specialised engineers while the remaining 83 per cent use uncertified cleaning companies.


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