Food safety is a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent foodborne illness. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards.
Food can transmit disease from person to person as well as serve as a growth medium for bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Debates on genetic food safety include such issues as impact of genetically modified food on health of further generations and genetic pollution of environment, which can destroy natural biological diversity. In developed countries there are intricate standards for food preparation, whereas in lesser developed countries the main issue is simply the availability of adequate safe water, which is usually a critical item. In theory food poisoning is 100% preventable The five key principles of food hygiene, according to WHO, are:
- Prevent contaminating food with pathogens spreading from people, pets, and pests.
- Separate raw and cooked foods to prevent contaminating the cooked foods.
- Cook foods for the appropriate length of time and at the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens.
- Store food at the proper temperature.
- Do use safe water and cooked materials.
ISO 22000 is a standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization dealing with food safety. This is a general derivative of ISO 9000. ISO 22000 standard: The ISO 22000 international standard specifies the requirements for a food safety management system that involves interactive communication, system management, prerequisite programs, HACCP principles.
A 2003 World Health Organization (WHO) report concluded that about 30% of reported food poisoning outbreaks in the WHO European Region occur in private homes. According to the WHO and CDC, in the USA alone, annually, there are 76 million cases of foodborne illness leading to 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths.
Australia Australian Food Authority take more pride in their work; there is less waste; and customers can have more confidence in the food they consume. Food Safety training in units of competence from a relevant training package, must be delivered by a Registered Training Organization (RTO) main types of food and the conditions to prevent the growth of bacteria which can cause food poisoning
- The problems associated with product packaging such as leaks in vacuum packs, damage to packaging or pest infestation, as well as problems and diseases spread by pests.
- Safe food handling. This includes safe pro tra la la la lacedures for each process such as receiving, re-packing, food storage, preparation and cooking, cooling and re-heating, displaying products, handling products when serving customers, packaging, cleaning and sanitizing, pest control, transport and delivery. Also the causes of cross contamination.
- Catering for customers who are particularly at risk of food-borne illness, including allergies and intolerance.
- Correct cleaning and sanitizing procedures, cleaning products and their correct use, and the storage of cleaning items such as brushes, mops and cloths.
- Personal hygiene, hand washing, illness, and protective clothing.
China Main article: Food safety in the People's Republic of China Food safety is a growing concern in Chinese agriculture. The Chinese government oversees agricultural production as well as the manufacture of food packaging, containers, chemical additives, drug production, and business regulation. In recent years, the Chinese government attempted to consolidate food regulation with the creation of the State Food and Drug Administration in 2003, and officials have also been under increasing public and international pressure to solve food safety problems. However, it appears that regulations are not well known by the trade. Labels used for "green" food, "organic" food and "pollution-free" food are not well recognized by traders and many are unclear about their meaning. A survey by the World Bank found that supermarket managers had difficulty in obtaining produce that met safety requirements and found that a high percentage of produce did not comply with established standards.
Traditional marketing systems, whether in China or the rest of Asia, presently provide little motivation or incentive for individual farmers to make improvements to either quality or safety as their produce tends to get grouped together with standard products as it progresses through the marketing channel. Direct linkages between farmer groups and traders or ultimate buyers, such as supermarkets, can help avoid this problem. Governments need to improve the condition of many markets through upgrading management and reinvesting market fees in physical infrastructure. Wholesale markets need to investigate the feasibility of developing separate sections to handle fruits and vegetables that meet defined safety and quality standards.
 European Union The parliament of the European Union (EU) makes legislation in the form of directives and regulations, many of which are mandatory for member states and which therefore must be incorporated into individual countries' national legislation. As a very large organisation that exists to remove barriers to trade between member states, and into which individual member states have only a proportional influence, the outcome is often seen as an excessively bureaucratic 'one size fits all' approach. However, in relation to food safety the tendency to err on the side of maximum protection for the consumer may be seen as a positive benefit. The EU parliament is informed on food safety matters by the European Food Safety Authority.
Individual member states may also have other legislation and controls in respect of food safety, provided that they do not prevent trade with other states, and can differ considerably in their internal structures and approaches to the regulatory control of food safety.
Germany The Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) is a Federal Ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany. History: Founded as Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Foresting in 1949, this name did not change until 2001. Then the name changed to Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture. At the 22nd of November 2005, the name got changed again to its current state: Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. The reason for this last change was that all the resorts should get equal ranking which was achieved by sorting the resorts alphabetically. Vision: A balanced and healthy diet with safe food, distinct consumer rights and consumer information for various areas of life, and a strong and sustainable agriculture as well as perspectives for our rural areas are important goals of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety is under the control of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. It exercises several duties, with which it contributes to safer food and thereby intensifies health-based consumer protection in Germany. Food can be manufactured and sold within Germany without a special permission, as long as it does not cause any damage on consumers’ health and meets the general standards set by the legislation. However, manufacturers, carriers, importers and retailers are responsible for the food they pass into circulation. They are obliged to ensure and document the safety and quality of their food with the use of in-house control mechanisms.
Hong Kong In Hong Kong SAR, the Centre for Food Safety is in charge of ensuring food sold is safe and fit for consumption.
 Pakistan Pakistan does not have an integrated legal framework but has a set of laws, which deals with various aspects of food safety. These laws, despite the fact that they were enacted long time ago, have tremendous capacity to achieve at least minimum level of food safety. However, like many other laws, these laws remain very poorly enforced. There are four laws that specifically deal with food safety. Three of these laws directly focus issues related to food safety, while the fourth, the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority Act, is indirectly relevant to food safety.
The Pure Food Ordinance 1960 consolidates and amends the law in relation to the preparation and the sale of foods. All provinces and some northern areas have adopted this law with certain amendments. Its aim is to ensure purity of food being supplied to people in the market and, therefore, provides for preventing adulteration. The Pure Food Ordinance 1960 does not apply to cantonment areas. There is a separate law for cantonments called "The Cantonment Pure Food Act, 1966". There is no substantial difference between the Pure Food Ordinance 1960 and The Cantonment Pure Food Act. Even the rules of operation are very much similar.
Pakistan Hotels and Restaurant Act, 1976 applies to all hotels and restaurants in Pakistan and seeks to control and regulate the rates and standard of service(s) by hotels and restaurants. In addition to other provisions, under section 22(2), the sale of food or beverages that are contaminated, not prepared hygienically or served in utensils that are not hygienic or clean is an offense. There are no express provisions for consumer complaints in the Pakistan Restaurants Act, 1976, Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 and Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority Act, 1996. The laws do not prevent citizens from lodging complaints with the concerned government officials; however, the consideration and handling of complaints is a matter of discretion of the officials.
South Korea  Korea Food & Drug Administration Korea Food & Drug Administration (KFDA) is working for food safety since 1945. It is part of the Government of South Korea.
IOAS-Organic Certification Bodies Registered in KFDA: "Organic" or related claims can be labelled on food products when organic certificates are considered as valid by KFDA. KFDA admits organic certificates which can be issued by 1) IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement) accredited certification bodies 2) Government accredited certification bodies - 328 bodies in 29 countries have been registered in KFDA.
Food Import Report: According to Food Import Report, it is supposed to report or register what you import. Competent authority is as follows:
Product Authority Imported Agricultural Products, Processed Foods, Food Additives, Utensils, Containers & Packages or Health Functional Foods KFDA (Korea Food and Drug Administration) Imported Livestock, Livestock products (including Dairy products) NVRQS (National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service) Packaged meat, milk & dairy products (butter, cheese), hamburger patties, meat ball and other processed products which are stipulated by Livestock Sanitation Management Act NVRQS (National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service) Imported Marine products; fresh, chilled, frozen, salted, dehydrated, eviscerated marine produce which can be recognized its characteristics NFIS (National Fisheries Products Quality Inspection Service)  National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation (NIFDS) is functioning as well. The National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation is a national organization for toxicological tests and research. Under the Korea Food & Drug Administration, the Institute performs research on toxicology, pharmacology, and risk analysis of foods, drugs, and their additives. The Institute strives primarily to understand important biological triggering mechanisms and improve assessment methods of human exposure, sensitivities, and risk by (1) conducting basic, applied, and policy research that closely examines biologically triggering harmful effects on the regulated products such as foods, food additives, and drugs, and (2) operating the national toxicology program for the toxicological test development and inspection of hazardous chemical ubstances assessments. The Institute ensures safety by (1) investigation and research on safety by its own researchers, (2) contract research by external academicians and research centers.
United States The US food system is regulated by numerous federal, state and local officials. It has been criticized as lacking in "organization, regulatory tools, and not addressing food borne illness."
Federal level regulation The Food and Drug Administration publishes the Food Code, a model set of guidelines and procedures that assists food control jurisdictions by providing a scientifically sound technical and legal basis for regulating the retail and food service industries, including restaurants, grocery stores and institutional foodservice providers such as nursing homes. Regulatory agencies at all levels of government in the United States use the FDA Food Code to develop or update food safety rules in their jurisdictions that are consistent with national food regulatory policy. According to the FDA, 48 of 56 states and territories, representing 79% of the U.S. population, have adopted food codes patterned after one of the five versions of the Food Code, beginning with the 1993 edition.
In the United States, federal regulations governing food safety are fragmented and complicated, according to a February 2007 report from the Government Accountability Office. There are 15 agencies sharing oversight responsibilities in the food safety system, although the two primary agencies are the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which is responsible for the safety of meat, poultry, and processed egg products, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is responsible for virtually all other foods.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service has approximately 7,800 inspection program personnel working in nearly 6,200 federally inspected meat, poultry and processed egg establishments. FSIS is charged with administering and enforcing the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, the Egg Products Inspection Act, portions of the Agricultural Marketing Act, the Humane Slaughter Act, and the regulations that implement these laws. FSIS inspection program personnel inspect every animal before slaughter, and each carcass after slaughter to ensure public health requirements are met. In fiscal year (FY) 2008, this included about 50 billion pounds of livestock carcasses, about 59 billion pounds of poultry carcasses, and about 4.3 billion pounds of processed egg products. At U.S. borders, they also inspected 3.3 billion pounds of imported meat and poultry products.
There have been concerns over the efficacy of safety practices and food industry pressure on U.S. regulators. A study reported by Reuters found that "the food industry is jeopardizing U.S. public health by withholding information from food safety investigators or pressuring regulators to withdraw or alter policy designed to protect consumers". A survey found that 25% of U.S. government inspectors and scientists surveyed have experienced during the past year corporate interests forcing their food safety agency to withdraw or to modify agency policy or action that protects consumers. Scientists have observed that management undercuts field inspectors who stand up for food safety against industry pressure. According to Dr. Dean Wyatt, a USDA veterinarian who oversees federal slaughter house inspectors, "Upper level management does not adequately support field inspectors and the actions they take to protect the food supply. Not only is there lack of support, but there's outright obstruction, retaliation and abuse of power."
State and Local Regulation
A number of U.S. states have their own meat inspection programs that substitute for USDA inspection for meats that are sold only in-state. Certain state programs have been criticized for undue leniency to bad practices.
However, other state food safety programs supplement, rather than replace, Federal inspections, generally with the goal of increasing consumer confidence in the state's produce. For example, state health departments have a role in investigating outbreaks of food-borne disease bacteria, as in the case of the 2006 outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (bad E. coli bacteria) from processed spinach. Health departments also promote better food processing practices to eliminate these threats.
In addition to the US Food and Drug Administration, several states that are major producers of fresh fruits and vegetables (including California, Arizona and Florida) have their own state programs to test produce for pesticide residues.
Restaurants and other retail food establishments fall under state law and are regulated by state or local health departments. Typically these regulations require official inspections of specific design features, best food-handling practices, and certification of food handlers. In some places a letter grade or numerical score must be prominently posted following each inspection. In some localities, inspection deficiencies and remedial action are posted on the Internet.
Manufacturing control  HACCP guidelines Main article: Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points The UK Food Standards Agency publishes recommendations as part of its Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) programme. The relevant guidelines state that:
"Cooking food until the CORE TEMPERATURE is 75 °C or above will ensure that harmful bacteria are destroyed.
However, lower cooking temperatures are acceptable provided that the CORE TEMPERATURE is maintained for a specified period of time as follows :
- 60 °C for a minimum of 45 minutes
- 65 °C for a minimum of 10 minutes
- 70 °C for a minimum of 2 minutes"
- "75 °C for a minimum of 30 seconds
- 80 °C for a minimum of 6 seconds"
Note that recommended cooking conditions are only appropriate if initial bacterial numbers in the uncooked food are small. Cooking does not overcome poor hygiene.
United Kingdom Foodstuffs in the UK have one of two labels to indicate the nature of the deterioration of the product and any subsequent health issues. EHO Food Hygiene certification is required to prepare and distribute food. While there is no specified expiry date of such a qualification the changes in legislation it is suggested to update every five years.
Best before indicates a future date beyond which the food product may lose quality in terms of taste or texture amongst others, but does not imply any serious health problems if food is consumed beyond this date (within reasonable limits).
Use by indicates a legal date beyond which it is not permissible to sell a food product (usually one that deteriorates fairly rapidly after production) due to the potential serious nature of consumption of pathogens. Leeway is sometimes provided by producers in stating display until dates so that products are not at their limit of safe consumption on the actual date stated (this latter is voluntary and not subject to regulatory control). This allows for the variability in production, storage and display methods.
 United States With the exception of infant formula and baby foods which must be withdrawn by their expiration date, Federal law does not require expiration dates. For all other foods, except dairy products in some states, freshness dating is strictly voluntary on the part of manufacturers. In response to consumer demand, perishable foods are typically labeled with a Sell by date. It is up to the consumer to decide how long after the Sell by date a package is usable. Other common dating statements are Best if used by, Use-by date, Expiration date, Guaranteed fresh <date>, and Pack date.
Australia and New Zealand Guide to Food Labelling and Other Information Requirements: This guide provides background information on the general labelling requirements in the Code. The information in this guide applies both to food for retail sale and to food for catering purposes. Foods for catering purposes means those foods for use in restaurants, canteens, schools, caterers or self-catering institutions, where food is offered for immediate consumption. Labelling and information requirements in the new Code apply both to food sold or prepared for sale in Australia and New Zealand and food imported into Australia and New Zealand. Warning and Advisory Declarations, Ingredient Labelling, Date Marking, Nutrition Information Requirements, Legibility Requirements for Food Labels, Percentage Labelling, Information Requirements for Foods Exempt from Bearing a Label.
Issues associated with sell by / use by dates According to the UK's Waste & Resources Action Programme, 33% percent of all food produced is wasted along the chill chain or at the consumer. At the same time, a large number of people get sick every year due to spoiled food.
UK government to replace sell by / use by dates? According to the UK minister Hilary Benn the use by date and sell by dates are old technologies that are outdated and should be replaced by other solutions or disposed of altogether.
How to enhance food safety There is a number of ways to enhance sell by and use by dates. These include better education of consumers on how to use, transport, and store fresh food products, but also by enhancing the use by and sell by dates by adding to the package smart indicators such as TTIs (Time Temperature Indicators). These show through a visible color change whether the product is still fresh. TTIs are already in use by retailers and food producers in France (Monoprix and Carrefour), Switzerland (Kneuss), and other countries in western Europe.
Consumer tips: How to keep food safe This section contains instructions, advice, or how-to content. The purpose of Wikipedia is to present facts, not to train. Please help improve this article either by rewriting the how-to content or by moving it to Wikiversity or Wikibooks. (February 2012) 1. One of the simplest measures that any person can take to prevent the spread of foodborne illness is to properly wash his or her hands before preparing or eating any meal. Many people who believe they are adequately washing their hands are sorely mistaken. According to a study conducted by the American Society of Microbiology, 97% of females and 92% of males said they washed their hands, but those numbers turned out to be 75% of females and 58% of males upon observation. A proper hand-washing technique suggested by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services includes using soap and warm water; washing vigorously for 10–20 seconds, making sure to reach all surfaces of the hands including the wrists, between the fingers, and under the finger nails; rinsing well; drying hands with a paper towel; and using a paper towel to turn off the water. It is certainly important to wash your hands before preparing a meal and eating, but hands should also be washed after using the restroom, coughing/sneezing, touching cuts or skin infections, handling raw meat, and touching pets or other animals. Almost half the cases of foodborne illnesses could be prevented by better hand-washing by food handlers. In addition, hand sanitizer is a helpful follow-up to hand-washing, but it should never be used to replace this valuable technique.
2. Some foods should simply never be ingested in the first place because they have such a high risk of containing harmful bacteria that can make people ill. These foods include raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products, unpasteurized juices (such as fresh apple cider), raw meat, and raw cookie dough.
3. In cases of suspected food spoilage, food should never simply be tasted, smelled, or eye-balled in order to determine its safety. It is true that in some cases, the presence of mold or other growths may indicate that a food has reached its expiration date and should not be consumed. However, some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been stored at room temperature for over 2 hours, microscopic bacteria may have been allowed to grow. The safe temperature for foods in refrigerators is between 2°C (35°F) and 7°C (45°F), and freezers should be kept at -18°C (0°F) or below.
4. It is not safe to let meats thaw on the counter all day, because this allows any germs present on the food to thrive. Safer alternatives to this practice include thawing the food under running water (21°C (70°F) or below) for less than 2 hours, placing the food in the refrigerator to thaw, or thawing the food in the microwave as part of the cooking process.
5. It is also important to make sure that raw meats are cooked to the appropriate internal temperature before they are consumed. Safe internal temperatures for various meats include 74°C (165°F) for poultry, 68°C (155°F) for ground meat, and 63°C (145°F) for fish and pork. It is not sufficient to judge the doneness of meat by its internal color. According to a study performed by the USDA, “25% of hamburgers with a brown internal color were not cooked to the proper temperature.” Instead of simply eyeballing the meat, it is essential to use a meat thermometer to judge the safety of consuming the food.
6. The cooking process is often the time that foodborne pathogens are allowed to enter the food we eat because of the prevalence of cross contamination. Cross contamination occurs when a person handling raw meats, eggs, fish, or other foods containing harmful pathogens touches cooking utensils, cutting boards, or cooking surfaces and spreads the pathogens to ready-to-eat foods in the process. This mode of transmission can be interrupted by washing hands after handling raw foods, washing utensils and cutting boards that have come in contact with raw foods, and disinfecting counter surfaces frequently.
7. Leftovers are ideally stored in the refrigerator in shallow containers (2 inches tall or less) so that the cooling process can be accelerated and the buildup of harmful bacteria can be prevented. Storing foods in larger containers may keep foods warm and allow harmful bacteria to grow.
8. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, and proper handling of them can help reduce your risk of foodborne illness. The Centers for Disease Control recommends: Clean: Wash all produce under running water before eating. Even if you plan to peel fruits and veggies, it’s important to wash them first because bacteria can spread from the outside to the inside as you cut or peel them. Scrub firm produce with a produce brush.  Separate: Keep produce separate from meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood, in your grocery cart, bags, refrigerator and countertop. Use separate cutting boards for produce and meat and wash with warm, soapy water after each use. Chill. Refrigerate all cut, peeled, or cooked produce within 2 hours. After a certain time, harmful bacteria may grow on produce and increase the risk of foodborne illness.
[Codex Alimentarius In 2003, the WHO and FAO published the Codex Alimentarius which serves as a guideline to food safety.
See also food portal
- Adulterated food
- Aseptic Processing
- Danger zone (food safety)
- FDA Food Safety Modernization Act
- Five-second rule
- Food and Bioprocess Technology
- Food and Nutrition Service
- Food chemistry
- Food Engineering
- Food microbiology
- Food packaging
- Food preservation
- Food quality
- Food rheology
- Food safety risk analysis
- Food spoilage
- Food storage
- Food supplements
- Food Technology
- International Food Safety Network
- List of non-profit food safety organisations
- SAFE FOODS
- ISO 22000
- ISO 9000