HACCP is known to be a management system in which we address all food safety issues through the analysis and control of biological, physical, and chemical hazards. These issues arise due to raw material production, manufacturing, procurement and handling, distribution, and consumption of the finished product. To be able to implement a HACCP plan successfully, it is very important that the management is strongly committed to the HACCP concept. It is because a firm commitment by top management towards HACCP can provide company employees with a sense of the importance of producing safe food.
HACCP by all means has been designed for use in almost all of the segments of the food industry. From growing crops/other products to harvesting, processing, manufacturing, distributing, and merchandizing to even preparing the food for consumption. It has been found that food safety systems based on the HACCP principles were successfully applied in food processing plants, food services, retail food stores, and operations. Different strategies are set and then applied in organizations with the aim to balance food safety and the environmental environment. Our today’s topic is all about understanding how to balance food safety and environmental responsibility.
Strategies To Consider For Balancing Food Safety And Environmental Responsibility
Below we have listed down some of the very important strategies that if implemented correctly by organizations can lead to balanced food safety and environmental responsibility.
1. Implementing Sustainable Sourcing Practices
Sustainable sourcing is the process where we integrate social and environmental factors into the selection process for suppliers. The long-term goal of sustainable sourcing is to build trust-worthy and lasting supplier relationships while at the same time improving the environmental and food safety goals as a core corporate objective.
2. Reducing Food Waste
Reducing food waste is another effective strategy that can be implemented to balance food safety and environmental responsibility. There are many ways to help us reduce waste;
- Using reusable grocery bags and avoiding plastic bags.
- Reusing bottles/cups for beverages.
- Trying to avoid all such containers and utensils that are of single-use only.
- Buying secondhand items and donating used goods.
- Adopting the habit of recycling.
3. Minimizing the Use of Harmful Chemicals
We are living in a world where the use of harmful chemicals has increased a lot. Whether we realize it or not there are harmful chemicals around us everywhere and we should try our best to at least minimize their use or handle them carefully and dispose them with proper protocol. Improper or careless disposal practices can put a negative impact on our environment and can pollute our surroundings so we should try to minimize their use. Similarly, in factories where workers are continuously working, proper use of gloves and eye protection equipment should be in practice.
Even at home, instead of using chemicals for cleaning purposes we should find an alternative and use something natural for cleaning purposes. Similarly, we should also avoid using fragrances as they are also chemicals.
4. Adopting Energy-efficient Practices
By adopting energy-efficient practices, we can play our part in balancing food safety and environmental responsibility. Below are some ways that can help us do that;
- By considering using solar energy where possible.
- Installing building insulation as it is an effective energy-saving technique causing the least harm to our environment.
- Preventing air leakage.
- Monitoring the building’s energy consumption and making sure it is not overheated.
5. Implementing Recycling and Composting Methods
Recycling and reusing materials can help us save a lot of energy. With that, it also helps us save money and reduce the use of natural resources. Recycling is not just about paper or plastic as many other items can be recycled like wooden items cardboard and whatnot. Similarly, compositing is also a great way to improve to balance food safety and the environment. It reduces the amount of organic waste going to landfills or waste-to-energy facilities.
6. Water Conservation
By installing flow-restricting shower heads we can save a lot of water during showers. With that, turning off the tap while shaving or brushing teeth, and fixing the leaking taps and pipes in our homes and workplaces all help us reduce the wastage of water.
7. Sustainable Packaging
It refers to any type of eco-friendly material that can be used to wrap, store, ship, and shelve products. Eco-friendly packaging includes recyclable materials like PET or HDPE plastic, cardboard, and paper wrappings. These are the kind of materials that once sorted correctly for recycling can be easily shredded, melted down, or pulped and used for other purposes as well.
8. Sustainable Transportation
It refers to low-and-zero-emission and energy-efficient modes of transport. It usually includes electric and alternative-fuel vehicles like domestic fuels. It can help us save cost on fuel and vehicles and reduced carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels can easily result in less air pollution.
9. Implementing Sustainable Agriculture
It includes crop rotation, using cover crops, integrated pest management, integration of livestock and crops, sustainable agro-forestry practices, and precision farming.
10. Green Energy
Green energy is a type of energy that is entirely generated from natural resources like sunlight, wind, and water. This energy does not harm the environment as it releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere which are least harmful to the environment.
11. Employee Engagement and Education
By holding seminars and sharing useful information with your employees, organizations can teach them how to keep the environment clean and maintain a balance between food safety and the environment. Employees should know the importance of food safety and how to keep the environment pollution free. By hanging up signs and sending straightforward emails and even offering incentives, this can be achieved.
These were some of the strategies which we believe if followed sincerely can play their part in keeping a balance between food safety and the environment. Though it is impossible to adopt all these strategies at the same time, the least we can do is try to follow at least some of these and then see the difference these strategies make in our environment and food safety.