The food industry has been adversely affected by the pandemic. But the food industry can’t be halted even for a day even for the prevention of the pandemic. This article explains the measures taken by food industry to control the pandemic and how they are in a vigil in every step.
Pandemic like the recent Covid-19 doesn’t just affect the health care sector but its tentacles spread out to almost every industry hitting the bottom stone of every economy. The food sector is one of the key industries which has been affected adversely due to the spread of the pandemic. The news headlines are filled with reports from farmers who have lost crops and processing plants affected due to the pandemic. With hospitals and medical facilities trying their best to prevent the spread of viruses, the food industry has never faced such a demand. The food industry sector needs to adopt plans that are safe from the field to a plate. The basic infection control needs to be followed by the food industry sector through mindful quality check because food handlers can be carriers of disease-causing pathogens.
The sector is struggling to check the supply and demand ratio to ensure that everyone has safe access to food. The industry needs to educate employees about infections that can be spread through food. Employees need to keep updated online and offline regarding various infection control steps that have been incorporated across the world. Mock drills for emergency responses can be practiced to identify the need for improvements. This keeps the team in a vigil against blind spots such as system failure or human resource management.
Employees need to report the illness to their managers and need to maintain safety measures. The employees should be encouraged to report sickness and make them stay home without calling them for work. A recent study has shown that managers in many restaurants didn’t come forward to take part in decisions to work while sick. These studies show sick food handlers still working while the medical situation is deteriorating. This may point out to the limited access to affordable health care and rising unemployment in the country. People are coming forward to work on minimum wages even when they are sick to support their families. The problem isn’t shallow but deep-rooted which needs to be addressed much before giving employees fit-to-work certificates.
The Food and Agriculture Industry needs to move ahead even in these adverse times to help feed society. The normal jobs in the food sector need to be continued by ensuring the ongoing food safety, employee hygiene, and sanitation activities at food manufacturing plants. Some of the key practices that have been implemented in the food industry sector:
- Effective social distancing, but maintaining queues through online and following discipline.
- Proper use of protective clothing, as outlined by the World Health Organisation and other trusted industry experts
- Frequent hand washing, using hand sanitizer, and using gloves
- Use of disposable masks when entering sites as a precaution for the site
- Sanitizing of frequently touched surfaces, computers, phones, etc.
- Self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms and immediate notification if any symptoms are exhibited. Help authorities to trace contact effectively.
- Reassigning audits to local auditors who can drive, and changing travel patterns to avoid areas of high risk
- Requesting information from audit sites to confirm that they have implemented a protective program.
Reinforcing good personal hygiene practices along with basic infection control practices such as the ones highlighted above can help prevent and contain the spread of food-borne diseases and pathogens. Emphor LAS, leading dealers of life- analytical science products has been providing some of the best food component analyzers. Food component analysis equipment checking the components of any food. They are used in agricultural and food manufacturers to ensure the purity and safety of food. They play a vital role in the food industry. In the current Covid-19 scenario, it’s important to understand the necessity of installing a food component analyzer that can detect the presence of infection-causing bacterias and viruses on food items.