Each year millions of people become ill as a result of one kind of food pathogen or another. Food poisoning can be caused by many bacterium including salmonella, E coli and listeria, with many victims not even knowing that they have been infected. John Besser from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention believes that both the infected and the health professionals treating them have a hard time figuring out ‘the route by which most of these individuals get ill’ causing a range of problems.
It is this indefinite cause that forces so many companies to recall food stuffs, costing them millions in in losses and damaging the overall reputation of the company. Despite what some people may believe, it is not that food companies are getting worse at controlling bacteria, but more that doctors and food safety bodies are better aware of them. To try and help solve the issues, new food regulations were set out. However, despite their best efforts, regulations alone aren’t going to help and here’s why.
- Only a fraction of those with poisoning can be identified
Health officials have such a difficult time of it because pinpointing an outbreak is largely down to luck. Dramatic symptoms have to appear and or a pathogen must be found in a stool sample for doctors to take notice.
Even then, it can be difficult to pinpoint as public health officials will need to interview a sufferer to determine what they have eaten, sometimes up to 28 days before the illness. All of this leads to a lot of ambiguity, as most people cannot accurately recall the exact food stuffs they have consumed during this time.
- Manufacturers are wary of new technology
There is an abundance of new tech out there to help organisations such as the FDA determine where bacteria has come from, even if it is widely spread. Although this advancement is crucial for better food, it means that some businesses are shying away from sharing their own bacterial test results with the FDA, for fear of implication in a food poisoning scare.
Nonetheless, there are some measures businesses can take to ensure that their food is as free from harmful bacteria as possible. Not only should you be teaching for workforce good hygiene practices but you can also using specialist equipment, such as blast freezers, to help protect your company’s image and profits.
- Customers food supplies are global
The public loves ‘world foods’ and we’re lucky enough to have access thanks to a low-cost supply chain but these bring with it more chances for food borne illness. The more stops a product has to make, the more chance there is for contamination so how can you prevent this?
Once again, the use of blast freezers and blast freezing can help companies worried about bacterium entering their food whilst in other countries. Most bacteria can be killed by quick and effective freezing and whilst not all bad bacteria can be stopped, this minimises the risk considerably.
- Customer rebellion
With so many customers now fearing preservatives and high salt and sugar content more than deadly bacterial diseases themselves, there’s a real chance that food borne illness could be on the rise. Unfortunately, for a business to survive, it must cater to the needs and wants of its customers.
As sugar, salt and other preservatives slow down the development of bacteria in in food stuffs, it can be difficult for companies to tell customers that they are wrong. However, moving towards more preventative measures at the source (i.e. your company), is the best way to help control issues with bacteria, whilst still keeping your customers happy.
How can a blast freezer help?
Blast freezers are not only helpful for larger companies but smaller ones too and help keep everything from raw vegetables to raw meats, poultry and fish free from harmful bacteria. Alongside the use of a blast freezer, teaching your staff members about problems such as cross contamination can also help to prevent business damaging outbreaks. For more information about how you can use blast freezers to improve the quality of your final product, visit CRS Cold Storage – leading providers of cold stores in the UK and Ireland.
Although the battle with bacteria is never over, there are preventative measures you can take to ensure the odds are in your favour.