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The Insidious Food Hazards as New Categories in HACCP and ISO22000 Based Systems



It is widely recognized that the absence of any food safety program or system such as HACCP and ISO-22000, might lead to food poisoning among wide range of population caused by food contamination. The importance of such food safety programs or systems lies in the fact that prevents food contamination or at least minimizes risk. As it is well known, in all enhanced food safety systems, hazard analysis play major roles in order to determine the critical control points (CCPs) for different types of hazards such as biological, physical and chemical hazards, which could effects food starting from farms and ending in the stores or restaurants. Unfortunately, many food safety systems world wide are often not integrated among government agencies, hampering communication and cooperation (1) and that due to low level of knowledge and the lack of training understaffed, or untrained for the rapid changes that have occurred in risk assessment, changes in production and distribution methodologies, and new foods and emerging pathogens. In this paper, we are focusing on some different types of hazards that are insidious hazards which include different categories and subcategories such as food handlers, electronic hazard and long terms & wide ranging insidious hazards.
Internet Journal of Food Safety, Vol.10, 2008, p.50-57
Copyright© 2008, Food Safety Information Publishing
The Insidious Food Hazards as New Categories in
HACCP and ISO-22000 Based Systems
Mohamad Azzam F. Sekheta¹²*, Abeer H. Sahtout¹, Issam Farid Soukhaita¹,
Mirvana A. Airoud³, Kinda A. Airoud4 and Hanan Y. Qudsieh¹.
¹Sekheta Bros Company, R&D Department, Gdaideh, Aida Str. No. 1, 21000 Aleppo, Syria, ²University of
Belgrade, Faculty of Chemistry, Studentski Trg 12, 11000 Beograd, Serbia,
³University of Parma, Faculty of Medicine, Via Volturno 39, 43100 Parma, Italy,
4University of Parma, Faculty of Pharmacy, Via Universita, 12-I, 43100 Parma, Italy.
Abstract : It is widely recognized that the absence of
any food safety program or system such as HACCP and
ISO-22000, might lead to food poisoning among wide
range of population caused by food contamination. The
importance of such food safety programs or systems
lies in the fact that prevents food contamination or at
least minimizes risk. As it is well known, in all
enhanced food safety systems, hazard analysis play
major roles in order to determine the critical control
points (CCPs) for different types of hazards such as
biological, physical and chemical hazards, which could
effects food starting from farms and ending in the stores
or restaurants. Unfortunately, many food safety
systems world wide are often not integrated among
government agencies, hampering communication and
cooperation (1) and that due to low level of knowledge
and the lack of training understaffed, or untrained for
the rapid changes that have occurred in risk assessment,
changes in production and distribution methodologies,
and new foods and emerging pathogens.
In this paper, we are focusing on some different types
of hazards that are insidious hazards which include
different categories and subcategories such as food
handlers, electronic hazard and long terms & wide
ranging insidious hazards.
Key words: Insidious hazard, Hidden hazard,
Ergonomic hazard, ISO-22000, HACCP
* Corresponding author, mailing address: Dr. Sekheta,
Mohamad Azzam F., Sekheta Bros Company, R&D
department, Jdaideh, Aida Street, No. 1, 21000
Aleppo, Syria. Phone: 00963-944-364-053, Fax:
00963-21-268-5231. Mailing Address: P. O. Box:
10405, Aleppo (SAR); E-mail:
Although a nutritious and adequate food supply is vital
to human survival, it can also pose health risk from
food-borne illnesses. Safety measures and risk
indicators are regulated by most governments,
administrations, organizations worldwide and others.
Consumers have raised questions about food safety
standards and the role that governments play in
ensuring safe food supply. On the other hand, safe
production, distribution, and consumer handling of food
require knowledge of food-borne pathogens, chemical
toxins, food quality, labeling, and food safety education
too. Consumers have expressed concern about the
safety of food additives, agricultural and veterinary
chemical residues, biological, chemical and physical
contaminants, radionuclide contamination and
uncontrolled and unacceptable food handling practices
and processing which can result in the introduction of
hazards to food at all stages along the food chain, from
primary production to the consumer.
These concerns have been voiced most often by
consumers in the developed world; however,
continuous development and improvements in global
communication have heightened the interest of
consumers throughout the world on these matters.
Finally, this new era of globalization requires a careful
effort designed to build and maintain consumer's
confidence worldwide in recent achievements in food
science and technology.
As there are many hazards associated with food that can
and do result in injury and harm to human health, food
safety is a worldwide issue affecting hundreds of
millions of people every year who suffer from diseases
caused by contaminated food or from some kinds of
food poisoning. Unfortunately, due to the fact that
hazard analysis is one of the most difficult works as
some hazards are hidden or insidious, current food
safety systems are still not perfectly prepared.
Uncontrolled application of agricultural chemicals,
environmental contamination, and use of unauthorized
additives, microbiological hazards and many other
abuses of food along the food chain, can all contribute
to the potential of introducing or failing to reduce
hazards related to food. With increased awareness of
the effects of food hazards on human health, the
increasing importance and rapid growth of world food
trade and the demand by consumers for safe food
supply, analysis of the risks associated with food has
become more important than ever before.
In general, risk analysis process comprises three
separate elements; risk assessment, risk management
and risk communication. It is widely recognized as the
fundamental methodology underlying the development
of food safety standards.
Categories of Hazards Associated with Food
In fact, HACCP and ISO-22000 based systems are
designed to prevent the occurrence of potential food
safety problems. This is achieved by assessing the
inherent risks attributable to a product or a process and
then determining the necessary steps that will control
the identified risks. The goal of implementing a
particular HACCP and ISO-22000 system is to prevent
or minimize risks associated with biological, chemical,
and physical hazards to acceptable levels as it is based
on prevention rather than detection of hazards.
In this paper, we are going to divide the major food
hazards into three major groups:
A-) Expected Food Hazards as Defined by Codex
Alimentarius Commission:
Codex Alimentarius Commission defines hazard as a
biological, chemical or physical agent in, or condition
of, food with the potential to cause an adverse health
effect. Microorganisms that can cause disease or illness
are called pathogens and they are biological food safety
hazards that must be evaluated in a hazard analysis.
Most of these pathogens are killed or inactivated by
adequate cooking and numbers are kept to a minimum
by adequate cooling during distribution and storage. If
it's determined that a pathogen is reasonably likely to
occur at a level that will cause illness, this hazard
would need to be controlled in a HACCP plan (2). In
general, there are three types of pathogenic organisms
that can be potential food safety hazards: bacteria,
viruses and parasites.
Chemical contamination of food products can occur at
any stage of food processing. Exposure to some
chemicals may cause immediate symptoms and other
chemicals may require exposure over prolonged periods
to have a toxic effect. Although, certain chemicals can
be considered food safety hazards, the presence of a
chemical may not always mean there is a hazard as the
amount of the chemical may determine whether it's a
hazard or not.
Physical hazards on the other hand, are the most
commonly reported consumer complaints because the
injury occurs immediately or soon after eating, and the
source of the hazard is often easy to identify.
B-) Hidden Hazards in Food
Unfortunately, many food manufacturers seem to be not
aware enough of such hazards. It is HACCP team's
responsibility to consider such hazards while analyzing
hazards along the food chain in their establishments.
The most common categories of hidden hazards in food
chain from farm to fork are: Irradiated food, canned
food, heavy metal residues in food, household
chemicals, microwave ovens-cooked food, cling wrap
in contact with food, bottled water in PET bottles, soft
drinks, energy drinks and artificial sweeteners, artificial
flavorings and colorings, refrigerators, fat and cooking
oils, cooking food in aluminum and Teflon coated
vessels and other cookware, vitamin and mineral tablets,
the Ingredients in "Dietary Supplements" promoted for
sexual enhancement and many others. This group of
hazards will be discussed in our next paper which is
under construction.
C-) Insidious Hazards in Food
This group includes different categories and
subcategories of hazards effecting on food safety. In
order to implement a particular HACCP, ISO-22000 or
any other food safety system more successfully, it is
more than a need for assistance from an expert to
deliver more skills to the HACCP team in order to
enable them to analyze all categories of possible and/or
eventual food hazards.
In this paper, we are going to consider the following
categories as major possible insidious hazards to food
and water supplies:
1- ) Insidious Hazards of Food Handlers
There are number of hazards that can be found in
almost any workplace in food industry. There are
obvious unsafe working conditions, such as unguarded
machinery, slippery floors or inadequate fire
precautions, but there are also a number of categories of
insidious food hazards including:
Mental Health of Food Handlers:
Psychology in Worker's Compensation has been viewed
much more favorably in the last decade. Prior to that,
there was little consideration of the psychosocial factors
involved in a work-related injury and reactions to the
injury. Employers, employees and unions are starting to
realize that, mental health problems are the single most
important cause of disability responsible for a global
burden of disease larger than that due to infections.
In fact, mental health of food handlers is one of the
most important ingredients in preventing foodborne
illness. Sekheta et al., (3) consider mental illness of
food handlers as a very important issue. Large
percentage of employers understand the relationship
between health and productivity and are improving
their management strategies by developing and
implementing systems supportive of work, family and
life issues, such as flexi time, part-time schedules, child
care benefits, personal leave, wellness health programs,
and family counseling. Training food handlers in
general and those monsters with disabilities in
particular on how to mind their psychiatric symptoms at
work in order to ease or master their stress is quite
The Effects of Ergonomic Hazards on Food Handlers:
Ergonomics is the study of fitting the work/job to the
individual. Ergonomics matches the design of tools,
controls, and equipment to fit the safety needs of the
operator. Many ergonomic problems in food industry
result from technological changes such as increased
assembly line speeds, adding specialized tasks, and
increased repetition. Any of those conditions can cause
ergonomic hazards such as excessive vibration and
noise, eye strain, repetitive motion, and heavy lifting
problems. Improperly designed tools or work areas can
be also ergonomic hazards.
Poorly designed work stations/practices lead to
Musculoskeletal Disorders MSD. Understanding basic
ergonomic principles is essential for prevention of these
injuries. Each employee needs to understand the
ergonomic risk factors related to his or her work tasks
and solutions to minimize such risks. Beside the
ergonomic hazards in food Industry, there are a lot of
occupational hazards such as burns, cuts, fires, cleaning
chemicals, CO poisoning, heat stress, cold stress, slips,
trips, falls and many others.
Ergonomic hazards in food industry are avoided
primarily by the effective design of a job or jobsite and
by better designed tools or equipment that meet food
handlers' needs in terms of physical environment and
job tasks. Evaluating working conditions from an
ergonomics standpoint involves looking at the total
physiological and psychological demands of the job on
the food handlers. Engineering controls, where feasible,
are the preferred method for controlling MSD hazards
as they act on the source of the hazard and control
employee exposure to the hazard without relying on the
employee to take self-protective action or intervention.
Finally, it is important to point out that the benefits of a
well-designed, ergonomic work environment in food
industry can include increased efficiency, fewer
accidents, lower operating costs and more effective use
of personnel.
Improper Food Hhandlers Hygiene:
Food Industries, unions and Governments worldwide
are starting to realize that, improper food worker
hygiene problems are the single most important cause
of foodborne illness:
Clean hands are the most important food safety tool.
Food Handlers must be trained on proper hand washing.
Food handlers not allow to work if they have any risk
having infection. They must stop working with food
when they are sick and that until all symptoms are gone.
Food handlers must check times and temperatures
regularly in cooking, pasteurization and cooling. As in
cooking, food handlers must take cooling seriously;
certain bacteria can make poisons that are not destroyed.
It is important to cool food through the "Danger Zone"
as fast as possible to keep bacteria from growing.
As insidious hazard gloves, will always have a role to
play in ensuring safe and healthy workplace, but only if
selected and used correctly. Some gloves, contain
substances capable of causing allergic (type IV)
reactions. Other gloves contain harmful chemicals such
as thiurams, and di-thio-carbamates. Today, we and a
lot of other colleagues scientists concerned of food
safety are wondering whether the gloves are a help or a
Cleaners and disinfectants must be suitable for using
safely in food establishments. Special written
procedures should be followed and applied. Workers in
the sanitation team should have special training too.
Another important food safety issue is reducing food
cross contamination and workplace accidents.
Therefore, food handlers must keep food-contact
surfaces washed, rinsed, and sanitized after each use to
remove germs that can cause illness. As, the used
sanitizer becomes less effective gradually, food
handlers should change it more often. They must keep
equipment and kitchens clean in order to reduce the
potential for food contamination.
It was also found that the highest prevalence rates
occurred amongst the youngest age group with the
lowest socioeconomic status or probably, most of those
who prefer to work in the night shifts.
2- ) Electronic Hazards Effecting Cyberspace
While only a few cases of intentional contamination of
food have been proven, the risk of possible terrorist
threats to food should be given serious consideration by
governments through health authorities and the food
industry worldwide. Existing food safety management
systems such as HACCP and ISO-22000 can be
enhanced, while putting in place appropriate security
measures to protect the whole food chain including the
production itself as well as the related distribution
systems too. A novel HACCP based defeating plan
against terrorist threats to Cyberspace controlling food
processing and water supplies is being enhanced and
established by Sekheta, M. A. et al., and the risks &
possibilities of combining terrorism and computers are
addressed too (4). According to the world health
organization WHO, the contamination of food for
terrorist purpose is real and current threat, at the same
time, contamination of food at one location could have
global public health implication.
Nowadays, more chemicals and biological agents are
related to the effects of aerosol exposure, many agents
also could be delivered through food or water. These
agents might be utilized including industrial or
biological toxins and or microbial pathogens (5). The
possibility of contaminating food and water supplies
deliberately by a terrorist attack aiming on cyberspace
must be taken seriously. The key to preventing from
such terrorist attacks is coming from improving quality
control and implementing a reasonable security
measures at production facilities based on vulnerability
assessment. There may not be an optimal cyberspace
controlling system for all food businesses at all stages
along the sophisticated food chain but enhanced
HACCP approaches have clear benefits (6).
3- ) Long-term and Wide-ranging Insidious Hazards
and Risks
3-1) Genetically Modified Food (GMF):
Although GMF is a revolutionary new technology still
in its early experimental stages of development, this
technology has the power to break down fundamental
genetic barriers-not only between species-but between
humans, animals, and plants (7). The introduction of
genetically modified foods in consumer markets
worldwide is currently a hot topic for debate.
Genetically engineered foods are different from other
foods. Genetic engineering allows, for the first time,
foreign genes, bacterial and viral vectors, viral
promoters, and antibiotic marker systems to be
engineered into food. The most insidious dangers of
genetic engineering are inherent to the process; it
greatly enhances the scope and probability of horizontal
gene transfer and recombination, the main route to
creating viruses and bacteria that cause disease
epidemics. Newer techniques, such as DNA shuffling,
allow geneticists to create in a matter of minutes in the
laboratory millions of recombinant viruses that have
never existed in billions of years of evolution Disease-
causing viruses and bacteria and their genetic material
are the predominant materials and tools of genetic
engineering, as much as for the intentional creation of
bio-weapons (8). Genetically engineered foods are also
inherently unstable. It is important to put the fact that
the genetic instability of these GM foods can be also a
major culprit in reducing their nutrients. A number of
studies over the past decade have revealed that
genetically engineered foods can pose serious risks to
humans, domesticated animals, wildlife and the
environment. Human health effects may include higher
risks of toxicity, as each genetic insertion creates the
added possibility that formerly nontoxic elements in the
food could become toxic (9). The genetic engineering
of food creates two separate and serious health risks
involving allergenicity (10, 11). Another insidious risk
of GM foods is that they could make disease-causing
bacteria resistant to current antibiotics, resulting in a
significant increase in the spread of infections and
diseases in the human population. Virtually all
genetically engineered foods contain antibiotic
resistance markers which help the producers identify
whether the new genetic material has actually been
transferred into the host food. There should be a ban on
the use of antibiotic resistance marker genes in GM
food, as the risk to human health from antibiotic
resistance developing in microorganisms is one of the
major public health threats that will be faced in the 21st
century (12). A group of scientists from UK found that
the rats consuming genetically altered potatoes showed
significant detrimental effects on organ development,
body metabolism, and immune function (13).
Large groups of scientists and activists see the new
technology "GMF" as one giant experiment that could
go dangerously wrong should genetically modified
crops cross-pollinate, migrate, or mutate in nature.
Recently, soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola are the
most commonly engineered crops. A new report on the
impact of GM on the genetics of the modified crops by
an independent group of scientists (14) has highlighted
huge gaps in scientific knowledge and the need to
greatly improve scientific assessment procedures before
GM crops are licensed.
Supporters to GMF, on the other side, say the first wave
of any new technology is flawed. Still, we are not able
to get a clear answer to our simple question whether we
can eat genetically modified foods safely or not, as the
answer we get depends on who we ask about this very
controversial subject.
Actually, consumers worldwide, but mainly in the
undeveloped countries, eat food that's genetically
modified every day without knowing it. That's because
processed foods like vegetable oils and food additives
including baby and infant food, often use foods that
have been genetically engineered, and there's no
requirement that they be labeled as such.
Food and Drug Administration (USA), believes that the
genetically modified foods are no different from their
unmodified counterparts, so there's nothing that needs
to be reported. But the authors of this paper together
with many other scientists worldwide disagree. Most of
us think labeling is the key and without labels, that's
next to impossible. Fortin and Renton (15), examined
the impact of additional product benefits on consumer
attitudes towards GMF. Results indicate that genetic
modification in food products has a negative impact on
attitudes. More importantly, the presence of additional
product benefits resulting from GMF was not enough to
offset this negative view.
3-2) Unacceptable Levels of Pesticide and Fertilizers
Today, millions of children worldwide, age five and
under face possible health risks from eating fruit,
vegetables and even baby food containing unacceptable
levels of pesticide and Fertilizers residue. Although
food and chemical makers insist the food is safe,
pediatricians believe there is cause for concern.
Pesticide and veterinary drug residues: According to the
reports of National Academy of Sciences in USA, 15%
of people are at least significantly harmed by pesticide
exposure each year. Symptoms, which are often
mistaken for the flu or allergies, include: headaches,
breathing difficulties, diarrhea, coughing, sleep
disorders, and temporary paralysis.
Long-term consequences of exposure include lowered
fertility, birth defects, liver & kidney dysfunction,
neurological damage, immune system disorders, cancer
and death (16, 17).
More than 90% of the pesticides on the market lack
minimal required safety screenings. Of the 34 most
commonly used lawn pesticides, 33 have not been fully
tested for human health hazards. The few tests that are
done are preformed by the manufacturers, not the
governments or their institutions.
Pesticides are also called Persistent Organic Pollutants
POP's. Some commonly used Pesticides, commonly
called the dirty dozen are DDT, lindane, aldrin, dieldrin,
endrin, chlordane, heptachlor, mirex, toxaphene, hexa
chlorobenzene, poly chlorinated biphenyles, dioxins
and furanes.
These Pesticides poison the soil and water for many
years and enter our food chain through fruits,
vegetables and grains as well as through meats and fish.
These Pesticides have a half life of between 40-150
years and hence will persist to even poison our great
grand children. This is why most of the world's
population has pesticide levels in their bodies which are
20 to 1000 times more than what the WHO considers to
be safe. As a result the incidence of cancer, allergies
and auto immune diseases has sky rocketed world wide.
Millions of people are engaged in some aspect of
managing pesticide risks too. Much of this regulatory
intervention in pesticide commerce and use came after
Pesticides were in wide circulation, in response to our
growing understanding of the consequences of their use.
According to Michelle Miller (18), there are four areas
of experience with pesticide policy. Public policy
makers struggle with identifying acceptable risk from
Pesticide and then managing for that risk within the
agreed critical limits (CLs).
Fertilizers: They are artificial nutrients added to the soil
to increase the yield of food. If applied carefully in the
correct dosage they have few adverse effects on health
but if applied indiscriminately in the wrong doses as it
is the case in some parts in China, Egypt, Lebanon,
Nigeria, Sudan and many other undeveloped countries
worldwide (19, 20), they affect the soil, the water, our
health and our bodies.
3-3) Sugars and Artificial Sweeteners:
Sugars: This product’s atomic density (98.4 to 99.5 %)
falls under the category of poison. It takes years before
it ruins someone's pancreas, his adrenal glands and his
endocrine system. Had it been ten times as dangerous,
nobody would have touched it. But since it is a slow
and insidious poison, consumers worldwide relish it
ever so much. Most known sugar related health
problems are Allergies, Cancer (cancer cells feed on
sugar), Vaginal yeast infections, Menstrual difficulties,
Mental illness, Hormonal problems, Heart Disease and
more. This industrial sugar also paralyzes the intestinal
peristaltic functions and leads to immune system failure.
White sugar also destroys brain cells and elevates the
internal temperature of the body. In 1996, Ann Louise
Gittleman (21) in her book "Get the Sugar Out" says
that no matter what form it takes, sugar paralyzes the
immune system in a variety of ways.
Artificial Sweeteners: They fall into two major
The bulk sweeteners, such as mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol
and hydrogenated glucose syrup, have approximately
the same calorific value as sugar and replace it in many
processed foods, but they are not so readily absorbed.
The sugar alcohols, hydrogenated glucose syrup and
xylitol, actually help to prevent tooth decay. However,
any of these bulk sweeteners can cause diarrhoea if
consumed in quantity.
Intense sweeteners, such as Aspartame (E951),
Tagatose, Acesulfame-K, Sucralose, Stevia and
Saccharin, provide virtually no calories and are mainly
used in diet products. They have produced worrying
adverse reactions and are cause for concern. Many
clinical studies represent merely a fragment of the
diverse effects chemical sweeteners can have on
diabetic individuals, particularly Type I diabetics, (22).
An important point that is overlooked: it is vital to
monitor chemical sweetener interactions with the
various types of diabetic medications.
Aspartame has been used throughout the world in soft
drinks and other low-cal or sugar free foods since 1974.
It was first approved for use in the UK in 1982. It is
known by the name NutraSweet, aspartame or E951. It
is made up of three chemicals: Aspartic acid,
phenylalanine, and methanol. Aspartame sugar
substitutes cause worrying symptoms from memory
loss to brain tumors (23). But despite US FDA approval
as a ‘safe’ additive, aspartame is one of the most
dangerous substances ever to be foisted upon an
unsuspecting public where billions of people are now
Aspartame victims.
Still, many people want to know what other artificial
sweeteners they may safely use instead of aspartame.
Our first recommendation is NOT to use any chemical
sweeteners at all, but merely use natural sugars or learn
to adjust to the natural sweetness of raw foods
themselves. If sugar substitutes are being used to help
manage someone's weight, he/she should make them
part of a sensible plan that includes healthful eating,
exercise and lifestyle changes.
4- ) Other Insidious Hazards in Food
There are too many other insidious hazards which can
affect badly on food and consumer's health too. It is
hard to talk about them all in this paper. The main other
insidious hazards in food are: heavy metals mainly in
caned foods, natural toxins, irradiated food products,
Toxic Chemicals, and so many others.
Suggested Added Control Measures for Insidious
In the following, authors suggest some common control
measures for all categories of hazards including the
insidious hazards in food industry based on enhanced
HACCP or ISO-22000 system. These control measures
for hazards in general and insidious hazards in
particular, must be taken by a professional HACCP
coordinator/team and whenever it's needed, with
preferably the assistance of external experts or
consultants and should include:
Training all food handlers on the correct and hygienic
ways of hand washing, food handling, processing,
delivering and storaging.
Training food handlers with disabilities on how to mind
their psychiatric symptoms at work in order to ease or
master their stress.
Reducing food cross contamination and workplace
Using food grade packaging and rubbing materials
Hiring external experts, trainers and consultants
whenever it's needed.
Developing a flow diagram depicting an operation from
primary steps or production process to consumption.
Modifications should be made whenever it's needed.
Developing and revising food safety plan
Preparing an enhanced list of hazard analyses together
with suggested measures needed to control or eliminate
those hazards.
Controlling and monitoring the cyberspace through
written procedures.
Preparing an inventory of eventual or possible insidious
hazards with clear identification of the controlling
measures needed.
Developing and instituting preventive measures needed
to prevent or reduce all categories of identified hazards.
Establishing and developing preventive or risk control
measures to reduce all hazards including the insidious
to acceptable levels.
Preparing correct labeling for all food products mainly
those containing ingredients of possible insidious
Varying choices or using more than one sweetener in a
food company's products. (Some sweeteners enhance
each other’s sweetness; blends often use less of each,
reducing your exposure to any one sweetener).
Establishing critical limits (CLs) for the determined
critical control points CCPs.
Establishing or developing monitoring procedures for
each CCP, taking into consideration that monitoring
procedures work and are both tolerable and feasible for
the food organization.
Improving quality control and implementing a
reasonable security measures at production facilities
based on vulnerability assessment and that in order to
prevent from possible terrorist attacks.
Establishing and developing a procedure as a corrective
action system under HACCP and ISO-22000.
Avoiding ergonomic hazards in food industry by the
effective design of a job or jobsite and by better
designed tools or equipment that meet food handlers'
needs in terms of physical environment and job tasks.
Evaluating working conditions from an ergonomics
standpoint involves looking at the total physiological
and psychological demands of the job on the food
Providing adequate ventilation in the form of hoods and
forced air as stated in the internationally well defined
standards and codes or in accordance to the required
standards in the country of the manufacturer.
Disallowing stock build-up of toxic, flammable, or
corrosive materials.
Having efficient and appropriate clean-up agents for
Having suitable safety equipment available (e.g.,
extinguishers and respirators).
Ensuring that all possible problems are fixed. Revise
critical controls and/or monitoring procedures
Establishing a Verification of the System; Test or verify
periodically the developed security program or plans in
order to ensure that it works properly.
Finally, establishing effective record keeping for the
HACCP and ISO-22000 systems applied is one of the
most important issues. This would include records of all
categories of hazards and their control methods, the
monitoring of safety requirements and action taken to
correct potential problems.
Safe food may be defined as a product which contains
no physical, chemical or microbial organisms or by-
products of those organisms which if consumed by
human will result in illness, injury, or death. The
definition purposely does not use the term contaminants
because many of the potential hazards in food that
HACCP and ISO-22000 systems are designed to
address are typically found in or on the food. It is their
concentration, numbers or size that creates potential
safety problems. However, in the present study, we
discuss the insidious hazard; this group of hazards
includes different categories which also can effects in
one way or another food safety. One of the most
important categories is the food handlers themselves.
Beside the unsafe conditions which may face the food
handlers and can affect the working condition, mental
health is one of the most important factors that may
prevent food borne illness. The food-handler's hygiene
is one of the most important issues that also can prevent
food contamination.
The second category of the insidious hazards was the
electronic hazards. There is a great possibility of
terrorist threats to food and water supplies aimed at
Crippling the Cyberspace in many food establishments
worldwide. HACCP and ISO-22000 can play roles in
protection such threat by controlling all the system for
all food production.
Many studies show that food exposed to genetic
engineering modifications may pose serious risk to
human's health and also bad effect to our environment.
Governments should ensure that non-genetically
modified foods continue to be widely available and
affordable to consumers, and that GMF are labeled in a
consistent and understandable manner. Also, export of
GMF to developing countries should be carefully
monitored to ensure that packaging, labeling and
possible environmental consequences are fully
We don't tend to think about what is invisible to us, or
what pesticide, fertilizers and other chemicals which
exposure in our bodies can do, some of these chemicals
can developmental delays, behavioral disorders, and
motor dysfunction.
Sugar can also paralyze the intestinal function and may
cause immune system failure. They called it the white
poison and it can be also count under the insidious
hazards. This white poison can also ruin pancreas,
adrenaline gland and endocrine system.
Finally, controlling measures for all hazards including
the insidious is the key to have much safer food
production controlled by enhanced HACCP and ISO-
22000 systems.
1- Michael R. Taylor and Sandra A. Hoffmann.
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2- James S. Cullor. HACCP (Hazard Analysis
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3- Mohamad Azzam F. Sekheta, Abeer H.
Sahtout, Nizam F. Sekheta, Medhia Kapkovic and Nela
Pantovic. The HACCP Implementation and the Mental
Illness of Food Handlers as the 4th Eventual Hazard
(2005). Internet Journal of Food Safety. 6, 5-10.
4- Mohamad Azzam F. Sekheta, Abeer H.
Sahtout, Abdel Sattar A. Airoud, Mirvana A. Airoud,
Farid N. Sekheta and Nela Pantovic. A Preventive
Strategy for Possible Attacks Aimed at Crippling the
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Al Omari. Terroris Threats to Food & Water Supplies
and the Role of HACCP Implementation as One of the
Major Effective and Preventive Measures (2006).
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Transgenic Foods - Questions of Policy (March 14,
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Interim Statement. May, 1999.
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Steinbrecher. A 36-Pages Report on Genome
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mutations in transgenic crop plants (2004).
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Consumer acceptance of genetically modified foods in
New Zealand (2003). British Food Journal, Volume:
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Bellamy, G., and Kalman, D. (1997). Biological
monitoring of organophosphorus pesticide exposure
among children of agricultural workers in central
Washington state. Environmental Health Perspectives
105, 1344-1353.
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Seidel, S., Teran, S., Wakeham, D., and Neutra, R.
(1997). Pesticide exposures to children from
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Epidemiology 7, 217-234.
18- Michelle Miller University of Wisconsin -
Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems November 3,
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Hosen,Y. (2005) Effects and rational application of
controlled release nitrogen fertilizer in paddy field of
southern China.,Plant Nutrition and Fertilizer
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KE. 2004. Effect of phosphorus fertilizer on soyabean
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of Agronomy and Crop Science 190 (6) 367.373.
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Published by three rivers press.
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Precautionary Principle: Lessons from the American
and European Experience. No. 818. January 15.
Published by The Heritage Foundation
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Degli Esposti, Luca Lambertini, Eva Tibaldi, and Anna
Rigano (2006). First Experimental Demonstration of
the Multipotential Carcinogenic Effects of Aspartame
Administered in the Feed to Sprague-Dawley Rats.
Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) Volume 114,
Number 3, March.
... HACCP is cost effective and offers a number of controls such as training, documentation responsibility and corrective action (Valder, 2009) also widely accepted as an extension of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). HACCP is an approach to food safety that identifies where a likely health hazard may occur, then establishes and maintains safety measures to prevent the hazard from occurring (Mohamad et al., 2008). It is a quality management system that reduces the incidence of unsafe food reaching the consumer. ...
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An analysis of factors contributing to bacterial diversity and count was done on Bulawayo restaurants. Focus was on equipment, foods, personnel and working surfaces. Twenty five restaurants were selected using simple random sampling, 57 (n=57) food handlers and 25 (n=25) supervisors responded to questionnaires. MINITAB was used for data analysis, employing multiple regression and analysis of variance. Findings revealed that, males are better food handlers than females (t=- 2.86) Facility, supervision, manager’s experience medical checks ups, gender and inspection by Environmental Health Officers had a highly significant influence on laboratory overall results with a p value of 0.000 (p=0.01). Hypotheses 3, 4 and 5 were rejected at 0.01 level of significance. Food service personnel and the environment represent the main sources of contamination.
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Contamination of food and water supplies for terrorist purpose is real and current threat. Recently many governments started to protect its natural sources in order to provide safe food & water supplies by putting new roles which helps to prevent or detect any possible contamination through food handling during processing and other services. In this study, we are going to introduce a new level of hazard, which we consider as the fourth level of food hazards and could be probably the most threaten one to food safety and that is THE INTERNATIONAL FOOD TERRORISM. Also, we are going to discuss the possible ways of terrorist attacks by using biological or chemical agents, starting from farms, processing, transportation, distribution and other stages of the sophisticated and long food chain processing and services. As there are many weak points that terrorist might exploit, we are going to show the major steps for developing a Security Plan Development (SPD) which can be realized easily and efficiently by implementing the principles of hazard analyses and critical control points (HACCP). The response to the threat of intentional contamination of food and water supplies was swift after the events of September 11 th a quick guidelines and many standard security practices were developed. Food safety plans, programs and systems such as HACCP systems which provide baseline security were introduced and implemented.
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As it is well known, there are three types of hazard which is has to be under taken and controlled in food industry and other industries as well. There are number of hazards that can be found in almost any workplace. There are obvious unsafe working conditions, such as unguarded machinery, slippery floors or inadequate fire precautions, but there are also a number of categories of insidious hazards (that is, those hazards that are dangerous but which may not be obvious) including:
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Why do countries� greenhouse gas (GHG) intensities differ? How much of a country�s GHG intensity is set by inflexible national circumstances, and how much may be altered by policy? These questions are common in climate change policy discourse and may influence emission reduction allocations. Despite the policy relevance of the discussion, little quantitative analysis has been done. In this paper we address these questions in the context of the G7 by applying a pair of simple quantitative methodologies: decomposition analysis and allocation of fossil fuel production emissions to end-users instead of producers. According to our analysis and available data, climate and geographic size � both inflexible national characteristics � can have a significant effect on a country�s GHG intensity. A country�s methods for producing electricity and net trade in fossil fuels are also significant, while industrial structure has little effect at the available level of data disaggregation.
The introduction of genetically modified foods (GMF) in consumer markets worldwide is currently a hot topic for debate. Media hype and the strong position against GMF by activist groups have contributed to the negative image of GMF, often labelled as “Frankenstein” foods. Given this negative image, the purpose of this study is to find out if consumers display more positive perceptions about GMF if positive trade-offs are made more salient in the purchase decision process. This study examined the impact of additional product benefits on consumer attitudes towards GMF. A sample of 120 consumers was randomly assigned to a (2*2) factorial design manipulating two levels of genetic modification and two levels of additional product benefits. Results indicate that genetic modification in food products has a negative impact on attitudes. More importantly, the presence of additional product benefits resulting from GMF was not enough to offset this negative view. Reasons for such results are discussed, conclusions for the industry and regulatory bodies drawn and implications for future research given.
Genetically modified foods provide one of the major challenges facing the food industry in the twenty-first century worldwide. The safety of genetically modified foods are being questioned by scientists, researchers and doctors as it is believed that these foods may pose a serious public health risk, especially for the young, aged, pregnant and immunocompromised persons. The present study investigated the following: (i) consumer awareness of genetically modified foods, (ii) identify genetically modified foods sold in Trinidad, (iii) consumption rates of genetically modified foods and (iv) provided recommendations on the control use of genetically modified foods. The results of the present study revealed that the majority of consumers (90 %) knew very little about genetically modified foods. This was mainly due to lack of information provided by the relevant Government agency. Many consumers were actually consuming genetically modified foods without their knowing. Genetically modified foods that were available on the supermarkets' shelves and sold throughout Trinidad included baby foods, bakery products, confectionery, meat and meat products, fruit drinks and juices, soups, fruits and vegetables. These genetically modified foods were sold to consumers without either their knowledge or consent. Most suppliers (67 %) were unaware that they were selling genetically modified foods to the public. Genetically modified foods constituted more than 65 % of the diet and these foods were consumed at a rate of at least 6-8 servings per day per person. Common reported health problems associated with consuming genetically modified foods included diarrhea, vomiting, rashes, difficulty in breathing, respiratory problems, hormonal imbalances and susceptibility to infection. The present legislation, that is, the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations of 1960 is ineffective and is not fully enforced and does not allow for the removal of genetically modified foods from supermarket shelves. There is an urgent need to enact and upgrade existing legislation, policies, procedures and practices to regulate, control and reduce the use of genetically modified foods until sufficient reputable, strong, empirical, scientific evidence exists to prove otherwise. At present the safety of genetically modified foods remains questionable mainly because of insufficient long term scientific data, and the vulnerability of the developing and developed countries to satisfy the food demands of their growing populations. Governments and their relevant food agencies worldwide should take the necessary precautionary measures to prevent exposure to or minimize the risk of exposure to genetically modified foods. This may serve to avert any future public health crisis and to minimize any potential food safety risks. INTRODUCTION Genetically modified foods came to the forefront were when a single U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in 1980 allowed for the first time the patenting of life forms for commercialization. Since then thousands of genetically modified organisms have been created and patented in the U.S. (The Pew Institute on Food and Biotechnology, 2005). Genetically modified foods are foods derived from animals and plants in which genes for a particular desired characteristic(s) are added to an organism's DNA. As the animal or plant grows and develops, it begins to express the proteins of the inserted genes, this leads to changes in the organism's molecular structure, biochemistry, physiology, anatomy and morphology thus resulting in the creation of a new living entity not found in nature. These changes are unprogrammed, multidirectional and difficult to control leading to the creation of highly unpredictable organisms (Oxfam, 1999).
The contributions of soya bean (Glycine max) to the maintenance of soil N, organic matter and physical properties in any cropping system is dependent on the amount of the crop residue returned after grain harvest. This amount of residue is a function of the dry matter accumulated during growth. In the topical moist savanna (MS) of West Africa where soya bean production has increased especially due to the cultivation of more hectarage of land, increase in soya bean dry matter with the resulting residue is limited by P deficiencies. In this study, the effect of P application on residue turnover by soya bean varieties of different maturity classes was evaluated across the MS. The amount of root residue in the late varieties was double that of the early and medium varieties. The effect of P application on root residue was also greater in the late varieties. Although root residue was 0.35–0.72 Mg ha−1, this was about 17–21 % of total dry matter at harvest. Among the varieties, litter residue averaged less than 1 Mg ha−1 in the early and medium varieties, and was 32 % higher in the late varieties. Litter residue increased by 42–46 % with P application. The total amount of soya bean residue that is a potential source of organic material in a cropping system after the export of grain is small and averaged 2.88 Mg ha−1 . Of this, root residue constituted 18 %, litter residue 41 % and stover residue 40 %. In this study C/N ratio averaged 17.1, 34.8 and 32.2 for root, litter and stover, respectively. The amount of total residue obtained in this study shows that the benefit of the effect of soya beans on soil organic matter and physical properties derivable from a single soya bean crop is small.
The concept of substantial equivalence,introduced for the risk assessment of geneticallymodified (GM) food, is a reducing concept because itignores the context in which these products have beenproduced and brought to the consumer at the end of thefood chain. Food quality cannot be restricted to meresubstance and food acts on human beings not only atthe level of nutrition but also through theirrelationship to environment and society. To make thiscontext explicit, I will introduce an ``equivalencescale'' for the evaluation of food chains (GM or notGM). By contrast with substantial equivalence, whichinvolves mainly quantitative, analytical methods ofevaluation, ``qualitative equivalence'' refers to ``less''or non-substantial factors that require new methodsof evaluation based on qualitative principles.``Ethical equivalence'' refers to factors that show themoral value contained in food products. To analyze thedifferent levels at which ethics is needed in foodchains, I will use the French principles: ``Liberty,Equality, Fraternity,'' or freedom, equality,solidarity, and add a fourth principle:sustainability. Sustainability, solidarity, andfreedom can be applied to the evaluation ofenvironmental, socio-economic, and socio-culturalethical equivalence, respectively. Equality refers tojustice and should operate so as to guarantee thatsustainability, solidarity, and freedom are satisfied.I suggest that ethics can provide a basis for arenewal of the food chain concept. Besides QualityAssurance, it is now essential to develop an ``EthicalAssurance'' and this equivalence scale could provide abasis to set up ``Ethical Assurance Standards'' (EAS)for food chains.
Food biotechnology, the use of recombinant-DNA and cell-fusion techniques to confer selected characteristics on plants and animals used for food,1 can be used to increase agricultural productivity. The great promise of biotechnology is that the use of these techniques will help solve world food problems by creating a more abundant, more nutritious, and less expensive food supply. Despite this promise, public concern about the safety, usefulness, and social consequences of genetically engineered food products has led to boycotts, legislative bans, and demands for stronger federal regulation.2 Such actions have caused leaders of the biotechnology industry to identify public “biotechnophobia” as . . .
In response to concerns about pesticide use and evidence that contaminants may accumulate in house dust, the California Department of Health Services (DHS) conducted a pilot study of pesticide contamination in rural children's home environments. House dust samples for pesticide analysis were collected from eleven homes, five of which had at least one farmworker (FW) resident. Handwipe samples were collected from one child at each residence (ages 1-3 years). Ten of 33 pesticides tested in house dust were detected. Excluding non-detects, concentrations for diazinon ranged from 0.7-169 ppm in four FW homes and 0.2-2.5 ppm in three non-farmworker (NFW) homes (overall median = 1 ppm), suggesting a difference between FW and NFW homes. Chlorpyrifos ranged from 0.2-33 ppm in three FW homes and < 1 ppm in two NFW homes (overall median < 0.5 ppm). All other pesticides were detected at < 2 ppm at four or fewer homes. The sources of these compounds could not be determined. Co-located samples were considerably different in concentration and loading, indicating intra-household variation. Of nine compounds tested, diazinon and chlorpyrifos were found on the hands of two or three FW children (20-220 ng/hand). Dust ingestion scenarios show child exposures could exceed the United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Program diazinon chronic reference dose (9 x 10(5) mg/kg/day). The results suggested that pesticide residues are present in the home environment of some California children and are likely to contribute to exposures. Additional research is feasible and needed to assess the magnitude and distribution of these risks.
Children up to 6 years of age who lived with pesticide applicators were monitored for increased risk of pesticide exposure: 48 pesticide applicator and 14 reference families were recruited from an agricultural region of Washington State in June 1995. A total of 160 spot urine samples were collected from 88 children, including repeated measures 3-7 days apart. Samples were assayed by gas chromatography flame photometric detector for dimethylphosphate metabolites. Dimethylthiophosphate (DMTP) was the dominant metabolite. DMTP levels were significantly higher in applicator children than in reference children (p = 0.015), with median concentrations of 0.021 and 0.005 microg/ml, respectively; maximum concentrations were 0.44 and 0.10 microg/ml, respectively. Percentages of detectable samples were 47% for applicator children and 27% for reference children. A marginally significant trend of increasing concentration was observed with decreasing age among applicator children (p = 0.060), and younger children within these families had significantly higher concentrations when compared to their older siblings (p = 0.040). Applicator children living less than 200 feet from an orchard were associated with higher frequency of detectable DMTP levels than nonproximal applicator children (p =0.036). These results indicate that applicator children experienced higher organophosphorus pesticide exposures than did reference children in the same community and that proximity to spraying is an important contributor to such exposures. Trends related to age suggest that child activity is an important variable for exposure. It is unlikely that any of the observed exposures posed a hazard of acute intoxication. This study points to the need for a more detailed understanding of pesticide exposure pathways for children of agricultural workers. Images Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3.