Good Hygiene Practices (GHP)
All consumers have the right to consume safe, hygienically prepared and quality food. Therefore, hygiene hazards and risks must be eliminated at every step of the food supply process. Good Hygiene Practices (GHP) are a series of requirements developed to prevent contamination of food to provide safe food to consumers. Foodborne diseases can occur as a result of improper practices resulting from:
Environmental hygiene and lack of sanitation
• Transport of foods in a mixed and unfavorable conditions
• Insufficient storage
Poor personal hygiene
• Insecure food source
We can classify the polluting substances (contaminants) as follows:
• Biological: bacteria, viruses or parasites found in air, food, water, soil, animals or humans.
Physical: Foreign bodies in foods; it often causes unintentional contamination or occurs as a result of incorrect applications. These; pebbles, metal, glass, wood, insects, soil, dirt, hair, nails, etc. substances.
• Chemical: Chemicals used to clean food contact surfaces, pest control chemicals, dyes and water treatment chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, fungicides and other harmful chemicals.
Food safety includes food processing, preparation, storage and distribution according to the procedures and guidelines specified in the relevant standards and regulations. Ensuring compliance with the required requirements is considered the responsibility of the food business. In this context, companies, dealers, distributors and staff working in the food supply process, within the scope of Good Hygiene Practices;
• define all activities,
• Take necessary steps to ensure food safety,
• Ensure that security procedures are periodically defined, implemented, maintained and reviewed.
Scope of Good Hygiene Practices
Environmental hygiene is extremely important in food processes. In this context, a separate parenthesis should be opened for environmental issues in Good Hygiene Practices. Because if the environment where the food is produced is unsafe, contaminants can enter the food at the first production stage; it can contact food for a short or long time. For this reason, all food establishments performing Good Hygiene Practices should be away from environments and applications where pests are dense and solid or liquid wastes cannot be effectively removed.
Operators in the hygienic production of food sources;
• Air, soil, water, feed stock, pesticides, veterinary medicines or any chemical used in primary production should control contamination.
• It should protect food sources from all kinds of contaminants.
Storage and transportation is another important issue for Good Hygiene Practices. In this context, food operators within the scope of Good Hygiene Practices;
• Use appropriate storage materials and equipment.
• Food contact; equipment used for storage, preparation, processing, packaging and service;
not create any toxicity for that food,
it must be constantly cleaned and disinfected,
o It must be produced from corrosion resistant materials.
• Food and food components should be protected from contamination of harmful substances, chemicals, microbiological, physical or other hazards during storage and transportation.
Cleaning, maintenance and personal hygiene; is essential to prevent cross contamination. Adequate facilities must be available to clean and disinfect equipment in processes that perform Good Hygiene Practices. Facilities should be protected and each area should be kept clean. Employees must be constantly alerted and trained on personal hygiene. In addition, hygiene inspections should be conducted and the results should be reported.
Facility Features in Good Hygiene Practices
The facility design should be such that it minimizes risks to ensure food safety. The nature of the operations and associated risks should be identified. Facilities and equipment must be protected to eliminate the risk of contamination. In this context, a facility that performs Good Hygiene Practices is recommended to have the following characteristics.
• Facility; unwanted odors, smoke, dust, chemicals, biological emissions or other contaminants should be away from areas where they pose a potential risk to food.
• The interior design, structure and layout of the rooms and equipment of the buildings should be such that they prevent pollution.
• The material of the equipment must be durable and portable; it should be able to be removed for cleaning if necessary.
• The maintenance, cleaning, disinfection and control of buildings and equipment should be easy.
Good Hygiene Practices and HACCP
HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is a systematic and preventive approach for food safety, used in the control of food hazards. HACCP prevents any biological, chemical and physical hazards that may cause the finished product to be unsafe during production processes. It also designs measurements to reduce these risks to a safe level. The food business operator minimizes contamination caused by environmental conditions, improper timing and temperature controls through HACCP. Therefore, the HACCP and Good Hygiene Practices processes should always be carried out together.