Safe food has a very simple definition: food that is not dangerous for human health and suitable for consumption is SAFE FOOD.
To produce safe food is only possible if the food safety system is installed correctly. Food safety should be seen as a multi-faceted,
multi-sided area established to prevent diseases that may arise from food processes called food chain, which is to produce safe food at all
stages of food, from the primary production to the consumption. Then it means from farming to the dining table.
Food safety involves all scientific and technical subjects related to food hygiene, food-borne illnesses, food additives,
contaminants, veterinary and agricultural medicine residues; as well as other subjects linked to the system such as food legislation,
inspection systems, certification systems and international trade. As it is seen, food safety might be achieved if all the parts of
the system fulfill their tasks in all production processes. Any flaw that occurs in any link of the production chain or at any point of the system will result in
unsafe food for consumption.
Gıda Üretim Zinciri
Hazard / Risk Concepts
Hazard and risk concepts that we all use frequently everyday are used for situations where possible negative consequences are expected.
Although these two concepts are different in meaning, they are often confused and used in place of each other.
Hazard of food safety; Biological, chemical or physical factors present in foodstuffs that have potentially adverse effects having on health;
The risk is the possibility that the danger existing in the food may have an adverse effect on health.
For example, there are many health-damaging microorganisms that are likely to be present in raw eggs. They can cause food poisoning in person.
For instance, Salmonella is considered a biological hazard and a potential risk in raw egg. Because of this risk, giving up egg food will be a
wrong choice because it means giving up a basic food item. Knowing this danger, which is contained in the raw egg, we will reduce most of the
poisoning risks the by cooking the eggs sufficiently so that the risk is controlled correctly.
The same is true for the consumption of raw milk. There is a possibility that a large number of harmful to health microorganisms exist in raw milk.
For example, Brucella is a common danger in milk, and raw milk consumption increases this risk greatly, while heat-treated (pasteurized or sterilized or boiled enough)
minimizes the risk of consumption.
These examples may be reproduced for each food item and for multiple hazards.
Zero risk in life is never a matter of fact. Whether
we have our food, whether we collect it in the garden, whether we do it at home,
or whether we produce it in the factory, there are significant risks.
We may think that by avoiding some of the dangers in life, we can
abandon the risk by giving up, but our life without food is not possible. We have to consume all the foodstuffs we need for healthy and
long life in an adequate and balanced way. In this case, conscious consumers should not avoid purchasing the basic food items they want,
but managing the risks with the right preferences and knowing the hazard involved.
The more often we encounter a danger, the more often we consume that dangerous food, the more often we are exposed to that danger,
and higher the amount we are exposed to, the greater the risk to becoming ill. There is therefore a direct relationship between "risk" and "exposure" and "dose".
Here, all these hazards, risks, levels of exposure and frequency are assessed by institutions of independent scientists at the international
level, and as a result they establish safe maximum limits for the consumption of the existing danger.
As long as these limits are not exceeded, it becomes accepted that food will be consumed without problems for a lifetime.
To give an example: it is known that fish caught offshore contain some heavy metals which pose a risk to our health.
Mercury is one of these heavy metals. The probability that the danger of mercury in the fish we consume will put in risk our
health will increase as the amount of mercury in the fish increases and as the frequency of consuming this fish increases.
Independent scientists working on this topic, with their toxicological studies, set the maximum mercury limit that a person
can consume for a lifetime without health problems (considering short and long term effects). For all foods containing mercury,
the maximum limits are set for the product and the legislation is carried out. It is now safe for human health to consume the products containing mercury within these limits.
If we do a list of chemicals that many fruits and vegetables have and which are essential for our nutrition, it will be seen that some of these chemicals are in the toxic
items list. However, since they are far below the toxic dose levels and we can never consume enough of them to see toxic effects (such as a truckload of tomatoes),
it can never be harmful to our health.
All this confirms a very well-known statement in this regard: "poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or remedy. ".
The biggest duty for us as consumers who are trying to make choices that are appropriate for their own and their families health is to consume the appropriate products
which are all made by these evaluations and the limits are determined. It is necessary not to trust the reports / statements that we consider to be “informational pollution ",
which are frequently found in the media, and which are far from the evaluations of all these independent scientific committees and without taking into account the
risk-hazard-dose relationship (perhaps even have no idea about them). Because, with the influence of these news, we perceive the consumer's perception as misguided
and are unwittingly involved in real risks. There are many examples in our
"Wrongs Known as True"
section that will provide a better understanding of the subject.
As can be understood from all these, the identification of the danger in the food and the calculation of the risk associated with this
danger is the first step indispensable for the protection of public health and the provision of food safety.
What are Food Safety Risks?
Risks associated with food can be microbiological, chemical or physical.
Foreign substances such as glass, metal, paper, garbage, hair, feathers, bones, insect parts, that are inside
our food or outside but in contact with our food are considered as physical risks. These foreign substances, in
some cases, can bring microbiological and chemical associated hazards. At least they can give the idea that the
product is not produced under hygienic conditions. Physical risks in our homes can be reduced with a good selection,
washing, etc. And in the food industry with the technical possibilities they can be easily removed.
Chemical risks: Which are in the food or is contaminating the food or is formed later in the food. Heavy metals, mildew
toxins, pesticide residues, chemicals are the result of improper processing.
They contain many microorganisms originated from food sources or from outside. Some of these microorganisms cause acute
and chronic illnesses in humans, creating
What is Food Hygiene? How is it provided?
Hygiene is part of food safety and is the necessary conditions and precautions provided to produce safe food during all stages
involved in the food chain. In other words, food hygiene is to prevent health problems caused by people taking part in every stage
of the production chain including consumers. Foodstuffs may contain microorganisms or chemical substances at levels that may be detrimental
to health if hygiene is not provided. Hence, food hygiene is directly related to every person in this chain.
If we have some basic information about foodborne diseases and the microorganisms and chemicals that cause these diseases, it will
be easier for us to understand food hygiene and how to provide it.
Unhygienic food, meaning unsafe food, has been a health problem for humans since ancient times, and today it continues to be a widespread problem in every country,
including developed countries. Every day in the world people get sick from the food they eat. Probably there is no person having at least once food poisoning in
his/her lifetime. Gastroenteritis, which is experienced in varying severities, will be treated in a few days and people who have it say "something I ate affected
me" and let it pass. However, food poisoning can seriously affect vulnerable groups such as children and elders, leading to years of chronic health problems and even deaths.
A significant portion of food-borne illnesses pass to the body through the microorganisms or toxins they produce. However, microorganisms are not the only cause
of foodborne illnesses, and dangerous chemicals that food contains, for various reasons, are also important disease factors.
Food and water-borne diseases are a preventable encountered problem in every country in the world. The most common symptom of these diseases is diarrhea,
but it can also lead to other serious consequences, such as kidney and liver disorders, brain and neural disorders, reactive arthritis, cancer and death.
However, with the right food safety system and proper preparation of foods, food-borne illnesses can be largely prevented.
These diseases are called "food-borne illnesses" and are caused by dangerous MICROORGANISM and / or TOXIC CHEMICALS.
According to the World Health Organization data, it is estimated that around 1.8 million people die annually from diarrhea worldwide, and most of them
from diarrhea due to food or water. In the United States, it is estimated that each year, one out of six Americans (means 48 million people) are sick
because of the food and drink they consume, 128,000 of which are hospitalized, and 3,000 have died. Approximately half of those affected by food poisoning
are under 15 years of age.
Unfortunately, in our country, there is not enough statistics about food poisoning cases. Although the works of Turkish Statistical Institute (TSI) consider
this subject as a shortcoming, no progress can be reported yet.
What is microorganism?
Microorganisms are small enough not to be seen with the naked eye, which we call "germs" among the people. You cannot see,
smell or taste microorganisms... Microorganisms are the basic stones of life like chemistry and a life without them cannot be thought out.
Bacteria, viruses, yeast, molds, parasites are always microorganisms, and they can be transmitted to food at any point of the food chain.
There are 3 types of microorganisms: useful, destructive and dangerous.
Provide fermented food and beverages (yoghurt, cheese, beer, pickles, wine)
Are used in medicine (e.g. penicillin)
Are used to facilitate the absorption of food in the intestines (probiotic)
Microorganisms are used directly in the production of various dairy products such as yoghurt, cheese and kefir. Fermentation of the bread,
beer and wine making, vinegar, boza making are also through microorganisms. In addition to these, there are direct benefits of microorganisms
to make butter, sausage, pickles, olives and so on.
Bad or destructive microorganisms do not make people sick, but they disrupt the food,
changing the taste, deteriorating it and making it look bad. These microorganisms are called saprophytes.
Dangerous microorganisms that cause hygiene issues can make people sick or even kill them. These are also called pathogenic microorganisms.
Most pathogens do not change food properties such as the smell, the taste, the appearance, the signs of whether the food could make you sick
or not. However, some microorganisms that change the appearance of food are dangerous at the same time (such as the production of toxins by
green molds that grow on top of your bread).
Examples of common dangerous food-borne microorganisms:
Bacteria - Salmonella, Yersinia, Listeria, Campylobacter, Vibrio and E. coli;
Parasites - intestine worms, trichina, tenia;
Viruses - hepatitis A, norovirus.
Microorganisms are naturally everywhere. An environment without microorganisms is unthinkable. But most:
Feces: Human and animal feces are the cause of disease microorganisms
In soil and water: A teaspoon soil contains more than one billion microorganisms.
In mice, rats, insects: All organisms have microorganisms.
Pets, sea creatures and farm animals (e.g. dogs, fish, cows, chickens and pigs):
Animals carry microorganisms on their mouths, feet, and skin.
Humans (mouth, nose, intestines, hands, nails and skin): An average of 100,000
bacteria can be found per square centimeter of a human skin.
Microorganisms need someone or something to move. Transport from one surface to another is called contamination and hands are
one of the most common tools for this. Microorganisms can spread rapidly with food and water. Pets can also be a source of transmission.
MMost of the microorganisms multiply by division. For this, they need nutrients, water, time and temperature.
Bacteria grow geometrically, which means exponentially (2, 4, 16, 256, and so on). A single bacterium becomes 2 in 15
minutes and this shows that a bacterium can reach more than 16 million in 6 hours. Some bacteria need to reach very high
amounts to cause a disease, while others can cause a disease even in very low quantities.
Viruses are much smaller than bacteria. Although they cannot thrive in food or water, they contaminate through them. If someone who prepares
a food has a virus infection during the preparation of the food or if the water used in the food business has been infected with a virus these
viruses can go through contact with food and consumer. Hepatitis A and Neurovirus are examples of viruses that pass this way.
Intestinal parasites, such as Tenia worms, are the factor of food-borne illnesses in all the countries, frequently in countries
where hygiene conditions are not adequately met. They cause disease by locating in the intestines of mammals, which is called
"infestation". It passes to people through raw and undercooked meats which are contaminated during cutting, fruits and vegetables
growing on the fertilized soil that has parasites.
Chemicals in Food
As mentioned above, microorganisms are not the only cause of food-borne illnesses. People become ill because of the following toxic chemicals contained in food.
Metals and environmental pollutants,
Improper use of veterinary drugs,
Improper use of agricultural pesticides,
The chemicals used improperly during cleaning and disinfection,
Improper use of food additives
Simple precautions such as washing and scraping may be able to remove chemicals from the surface. Taking appropriate precautions at
every stage of production, the formation of some natural toxins can be reduced.
Five Golden Rules of World Health Organization (WHO)
Contamination of food with dangerous microorganisms and substances can occur in several ways:
By coughing, sneezing from who prepare meals in the kitchen of a residence or a restaurant, or those
who work in a food production factory;
with his hands, near the food or in the field where the food is produced,
By contacting raw foods with cooked food or kitchen utensils and the kitchen counter,
By contacting food directly or indirectly with pet animals, insects, pests,
By exposing the food to air for a long time.
DWorld Health Organization (WHO); has published a 5-item food hygiene key that also provides an easy-to-understand way to prevent the
above-mentioned transmission routes, but also provides an understanding of the reasons for the proposed measures. Meant to train those who
are work in a food production factory, a catering company or a restaurant and those who prepare food in their own kitchen. Although
many international organizations have been collected under different number of headings, keys including the same precautions have been described here.
The main messages given by the WHO on the poster titled "Five keys to safer food":
1. Keep clean,
2. Separate raw and cooked,
3. Cook thoroughly,
4. Keep food at safe temperatures,
5. Use safe water and raw materials.
It is possible to prevent food-borne diseases by following the rules required by these 5 keys during food production.
WHO also has brochures on primary production, which contain hygienic rules for producers of fruit, vegetable and aquatic products and which contain practical keys.
Five Keys to Safer Food
1. TO BE CLEAN AND TO KEEP CLEAN
Dangerous microorganisms can be transported to food by hand, cleaning cloths and
tool-equipment, such as cutting boards, and even the weakest contact can cause a
disease by transporting these microorganisms to food.
It does not mean that tools, which cause an infection, are really clean although they
look clean. It should be considered that while 2.5x109
(2.5 billion) bacteria are
required to make 250 ml of water blurry, in some cases 15-20 pathogenic bacteria
may be sufficient for a disease.
Keeping food producers hands clean is vital and hands should be washed frequently
during production. Hands must be washed;
Before preparing / processing food,
After the toilet,
After contacting eggs, raw meat, chicken, fish,
After coughing and sneezing, after cleaning the nose,
After touching chemicals (e.g. the ones used in cleaning)
After touching the garbage,
When you come from outside,
Before and after the meal,
After changing the diaper of a baby,
EAfter touching pets.
Hand washing: It should be under flowing water, with soap and for at least 20
seconds, and finally the hands should be dried with a clean / dry towel - preferably a
paper towel. We mostly wash our hands, however most of us do not wash properly.
For example we do not use soap or wash careless. But we must be sure that all the ins
and outs of our hands should thoroughly be cleaned, and we should not neglect our
fingertips, nails, ankles and fingers. Hot water and soap help to remove oil residues,
bacteria and soil, so you should always use soap and, if possible, prefer to wash with
Cleaning of surfaces and tools-equipment
All surfaces and tool-equipment used in food preparation must be very clean to
prevent the growth of microorganisms. Dangerous microorganisms that are
transmitted to these surfaces or tool-equipment from raw food can be transmitted to
another food in case of contact with it (cross-contamination) if any precaution is not
taken. Washing surfaces and tools-equipment is not always sufficient, and in some
cases it is necessary to disinfect. Disinfection involves operations to kill or inactivate
dangerous microorganisms and to reduce them to non-hazardous levels.
Cleaning is to remove dirt and organic materials such as fat, protein form walls, all
kinds of surfaces like floors, and tool-equipments. More than 90% of the
microorganisms in the surfaces mentioned by the cleaning processes can be removed.
However, many microorganisms adhere very tightly to surfaces, especially in visually
pleasing finer layers (biofilm) brought by organic infections. These layers cannot be
removed even with a strong cleaning and microorganisms continue to multiply there.
Removal of these microorganisms may be possible only with hot water, steam or
chemical disinfectants. It should be noted that the selected chemical as the
disinfectant is chosen from substances which kill microorganisms but do not harm
human health and which do not cause abrasive effect on the surface.
Special attention should be paid to all materials such as cutlery that will come into
contact with raw food or the mouth. Also chopping boards and other equipment that
are in contact with raw meat, chickens, or seafood must be disinfected. Since
microorganisms develop rapidly on wet surfaces, drying should not be neglected after
cleaning the equipment. After meals; leftovers should be thrown in the garbage can
and dishes should be washed in a dishwasher. If there is no dishwasher, they should
be washed with hot water and detergent and rinsed under clean running water. The
equipment should be disinfected with hot water or bleach following the labeling
information (e.g. 5 mL - approximately 1 dessert spoon bleach + 750 mL of water can
be sufficient), thoroughly rinsed, dried with paper towels or clean dry cloths. Cloths,
towels and other cleaning materials should be very clean and should be changed daily
or more frequently, depending on the use frequency. In these operations, sponges
should not be preferred because they are suitable for microorganisms’ settlement due
to their porous structure and it is difficult to clean them. Different cloths must be used
to clean dishes and surfaces.
Prevention of pests
The presence of pests (mice, rats, birds, flies and insects) should be avoided in the
food production area / kitchen because of disease-causing microorganisms. Pets
should also be kept away from these areas as they carry these pests and dangerous
microorganisms on their feet, fur and feathers. Always keeping the foods covered, in
this area taking care of the surface cracks including the wall and the floor, frequent
maintenance to close the holes, throwing away the garbage frequently and always
keeping the covers of the garbage cans closed and applying disinfectant -by taking all
necessary precautions to prevent to contamination to food- are useful precautions.
Five Keys to Safer Food
2. SEPARATE RAW AND COOKED
Raw food, especially meat, poultry and seafood can contain dangerous microorganisms. Unless precautions are taken,
these microorganisms may transfer onto other foods during food preparation and storage. In particular, liquid / blood
flowing from these products facilitate contamination. The transfer of microorganisms from raw to cooked food, as mentioned
above is called “cross-contamination”. To prevent this, it is necessary to keep raw meat, poultry and seafood separate from
other foods while shopping and to disinfect all the equipment and utensils contacted with raw food and all the surfaces that
contacted with blood.
Five Keys to Safer Food
3. COOK THOROUGHLY
With proper cooking it is possible to kill almost all the dangerous microorganisms in raw food. Studies have shown that c
ooking food to a temperature of 70 °C can help ensure it is safe for consumption, but you need to make sure that all the
food reaches this temperature. Soup and stews are cooked at boiling temperature and at least 10-15 min. do not pose a problem
if any improper operation is not applied after cooking. However, especially in large cooking meats such as grills, barbecues
and especially large meats, even if the surface of the meat reaches a safe temperature, the center can remain at lower
temperatures, so it is necessary to ensure that the center reaches a sufficient temperature. Likewise, when cooking in
microwave ovens, uneven cooking can occur and leace cold spots where dangerous microorganisms can survive.
Even in foods containing a large number of microorganisms, keeping all sides 30 seconds at 70 °C provide safe
consumption of these foods. We use color change as an indicator if food is cooked thoroughly, but the color
does not indicate that food has reached enough temperature to be well cooked. For this reason it is recommended
that thermometers specially designed for this work should also be used in homes.
Five Keys to Safer Food
4. KEEP THE FOOD AT SAFE TEMPERATURES
Microorganisms cannot multiply in very hot and very cold conditions.
They multiply very quickly at room temperature and the temperature range
at which microorganisms grow rapidly is between 5-60 °C. Cooling and freezing
vegetables does not kill microorganisms, but limits or even prevents them from
multiplying. For this reason, it is necessary to keep the food below 5 °C (refrigerator)
or over 60 °C (cooking) in order to stop or slow the growth of microorganisms.
To protect the food at safe temperatures if not immediately consumed, the cooked food
should be cooled rapidly and taken to the refrigerator. We should not keep cooked food
for more than 3 days in the refrigerator, and we should warm up the amount of food we are going
to consume at once.
It is also an important issue to defrost products in order to keep food safe. During defrost process
if the surface of the food and the internal zones of food are defrosted at different times it may allow
the development of microorganisms. For this reason, frozen products must be defrosted in the refrigerator,
during cooking or in a microwave oven. In microwave ovens, defrosted food should be cooked quickly or taken
to the refrigerator immediately, as some areas may heat up during defrosting.
Five Keys to Safer Food
5. USE SAFE WATER AND RAW MATERIALS
Raw materials used in food production, as well as water and ice, may be contaminated with dangerous microorganisms and chemicals.
For example, it may contain some toxic substances produced by molds in earlier stages of production. For these reasons, it is important
to pay attention to the selection of raw materials.
We use water frequently to wash our hands, to add to food, to wash fruits and vegetables, to prepare beverages, to make ice and to
wash kitchenware. For this reason, water used for food production / preparation should not contain microorganism and chemicals at
the level which will cause disease and must be drinkable.
When we buy or use raw material, attention should be paid to followings:
Fresh foods should be selected as much as possible,
Food should be processed and consumed when it is fresh in order to avoid food that is damaged or rotten,
Products that have been damaged, decayed, moldy should not be used,
Be sure that there are no foreign substances in the food such as stone, glass, metal, paper, garbage, hair, paint, bones in
animal origin foods,
To be safe, we should select foodstuffs such as pasteurized / sterilized milk, processed foods
Especially if they are to be consumed raw, fruits and vegetables should be cleaned with safe water
and shelled foods should be cleaned with brush or rubbed under flowing water. Even if the shells are to be peeled or scratched, the microorganisms may
be washed away from the outside during these operations - after being washed or peeled, but soap or detergent should not be used.
Do not buy canned, bumped or rusted canned goods,
Attention should be paid to recommended consumption date and expiration date,
For purchased products, care should be taken not to spoil the cold chain until they reach to the kitchen / business.
Products that are frozen and stored in cold storage should be picked up and store in the refrigerator as soon as possible.