Category of Food Safety Hazards

A food hazard is defined as anything that could contaminate food and cause illness or injury, or could otherwise violate established food safety program criteria if left uncontrolled. HACCP plan is designed to control all reasonably likely food-safety hazards.

The safety of foods is a function of more than the microbiological hazards, albeit those occupy most of the headlines. The challenges of chemical and physical hazards in food are evidenced in the continuing recalls of manufactured food products. Such hazards are categorized into three classes: biological, chemical and physical.

*Biological hazards include harmful bacteria, viruses or parasites (e.g., salmonella, hepatitis A and trichinella).
*Chemical hazards include compounds that can cause illness or injury due to immediate or long-term exposure.
*Physical hazards include foreign objects in food that can cause harm when eaten, such as glass or metal fragments.

Foods can contain biological hazards. These hazards can come from raw materials or from food-processing steps used to make the final product. Biological hazards are characterized by the contamination of food by microorganisms. Found in the air, food, water, animals, and in the human body, these incredibly tiny organisms are not inherently unsafe – many provide benefits to our anatomy.

Chemical contamination can happen at any stage in food production and processing. Chemicals can be helpful and are purposefully used with some foods, such as pesticides on fruits and vegetables. Chemical hazards include pesticides and other chemicals that might be applied or carried on raw materials, as well as chemicals used in the food manufacturing process including cleaners and sanitizers. Chemical hazards can be divided into two categories: chemical agents and toxic metals. *Chemical agents include cleaning or sanitizing agents, pesticides, or food additives.
*Toxic metals can cause foodborne illness if food is stored in containers made from certain types of metal and the metals leach into the food.

Physical hazards include any potentially harmful extraneous matter not normally found in food. When a consumer mistakenly eats the foreign material or object, it is likely to cause choking, injury or other adverse health effects. Examples of physical hazards could include bones in fish, flaking paint, hair, dirt, metal fragments, and nails. Sources for contaminants include raw materials, badly maintained facilities and equipment, improper production procedures,and poor employee practices.

Category of Food Safety Hazards

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