Hygiene standards in food processing
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CTA. 2005. Hygiene standards in food processing. Rural Radio Resource Pack 05/5. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57200
Sidi Fofana, coordinator and trainer at the Banjulunding food processing plant in The Gambia explains the detailed procedures needed to maintain hygiene in the plant.
Hygiene standards in food processing Cue: Farmers are frequently told that to earn more money from their crops they must add value to them. So for farmers producing fruit or vegetable crops, what options are there for adding value? Some methods, such as grading the produce, require little or no equipment. Processing the crop, for example into a jam, juice or chutney, requires more investment, but can be an excellent business, particularly for women?s groups. However, a successful food processing operation needs to have very strict standards of hygiene and quality in order to make a consistently good product. These standards must apply not only to the quality of the fruit and vegetables themselves, but also the cleanliness of the building, equipment and staff who work there. In May 2005 a new food processing plant opened in Banjulunding, a small town close to the Gambian capital Banjul. The plant, which produces a wide range of products including watermelon and mango juices, and orange and lemon squash, is staffed by women from the town and the surrounding villages. The women are not only staff, but also trainees, and are taught the skills needed for the various food processing operations. To find out more about how high standards are maintained, Ismaila Senghore visited the plant and spoke to Mr Sidi Fofana, co-ordinator and trainer of the food processing operation. IN: ?Whatever you process if ?? OUT: ??food security is very very important.? DUR?N 4?46? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Sidi Fofana of the horticultural processing plant in Banjulunding, The Gambia. Transcript Fofana Whatever you process if you do not put food hygiene and sanitation as your priority number one, your end product will be poor. So when we want to produce or process any raw material, we have to look at the quality first. The maturity, the ripeness and it is free of chemicals also and also damage. So that is why when we received our raw material we have to check the quality first, to check whether it meets our standard. Then we wash the fruits or vegetables thoroughly with clean water so that we minimise the chemical residue on the produce, at the same time to reduce the microbial load. Studio But for a food processing operation to produce a safe, clean product, free from harmful bacteria or microbes, it is important not only to select and wash the raw materials. The building and equipment must be clean, and staff must also maintain high levels of hygiene. Fofana Every day when the trainees come they start cleaning first before processing. So we try to clean all the places, our windows even the store floors, everywhere. So we have to make sure that we put the hygiene in a place number one before we start any processing. That is why you see our floor is very clean even you cannot see any dust here on the floor. And also our utensils, we wash them thoroughly because we use the detergent and disinfectant here. Then we have the machines here which we wash them; every day prior to processing we have to clean them, wash them thoroughly using the detergent and disinfectant. And also all the trainees also are supplied with gloves, uniform and mask also during the processing. Before they start processing they have to wash their hands thoroughly with clean water and soap. Senghore In other words you ensure there is bodily hygiene because if you are handling food you have to be clean yourself as well as the utensils and the environment. Fofana Yes because that is personal hygiene. Even if anybody gets an injury so she will not be allowed to participate in processing on that day until she recovers, because we do not want cross-contamination from the food handler to our product. Studio Another important rule is that any water used in the processing ? for example in the making of juice ? should be boiled first to kill harmful bacteria, also known as pathogenic micro-organisms. Fofana We have a water supply here but the water we use in food processing also here we boil it thoroughly to destroy pathogenic micro-organisms there because we do not use cold water or we do not use that water directly to our processing plant. We just have to make sure to boil them above even 100 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes to destroy pathogenic micro-organisms. And also pasteurisation: during the processing we pasteurise our juice so that they will be at least free of pathogenic micro-organisms. Senghore Yes and your bottles are also kept clean I am sure. As I see you have them here nicely labeled with different names and pictures of the contents. Fofana Yes because the packaging material also we normally wash them thoroughly. We have a bottle washing machine over there, whereby we wash our bottles thoroughly and after washing them we put them in the oven, we leave them for almost half an hour or even more then that, just to heat them a little bit so that is to minimise microbial load there before we fill them with any products. But the lids, we check them thoroughly, to make sure that the lids are not dirty. So we have to make sure. And even the glass bottles you have to check that they are free of cracks or other things, because glass bottles normally they are recycled you can use them at anytime. But the lids you have to look at them critically. This is very very important for us. We do put emphasis on that. Senghore Now what is the feedback that you get from them and yourself I am sure you must have tasted some of your juice? Fofana Yes they are very very delicious. I feel before you leave you will taste some of the product here because they are very delicious. So people are very very interested because this is a model in the country. This type of plant will minimise the post-harvest losses in our country. Right now when you go out you see the watermelon abundant and the same thing likewise during the mango season, peak season you see the fruits wasting in the street, and even the producers when they go to the market they sell them at the lowest, at the cheapest price. But when we have this type of plant at least it will minimise post-harvest losses. So producers will bring their raw material here and we buy it from them, we process into different products and then at the end when they are not available then people consume them. Because food security is very very important. End of track.