Food safety has come a long way in recent decades. There is now a range of techniques, best-practices and technologies that have proven amazingly effective in reducing the contamination of food. There is also a detailed and widespread legal framework in place to regulate food safety at institutions where food is served to the public. The general effect of this has been overwhelmingly positive (even if being pulled up by the relevant authorities for a food safety shortcoming is the worst nightmare of anybody with a stake in the catering or gastronomy industries).
Combatting Illness and Contamination
However, the laws are there for a reason and food safety technology has been developing fast for the same reason. Foodborne illnesses are still a discernable threat to the public. One in six Americans become ill every year from foodborne illnesses (which is a staggering amount) and, where larger outbreaks are concerned, over two-thirds of these originate in restaurants. It is something to be regretted. Adopting new technologies might not fit in the budget of every restaurant owner or food chain proprietor, but adopting simple safety gear in the kitchen might also be useful in curbing food contamination. For instance, the use of masks and gloves (similar to the ones available at unigloves.co.uk) by cooks or the ones in charge of packaging the food would ensure that the food is hygienic and free of contamination, without costing much to the manager. However, if such simple methods are also not adopted, it reflects it is a very foolish manager who does not treat food safety with the utmost seriousness.
And it is also a foolish manager who does not embrace the changing of times. Where food safety technology is concerned, things are only improving and so those concerned (as they should be) about the risk of contamination and outbreaks frequently keep abreast of the latest technologies making food preparation more secure.
Food Safety at Home
Restaurants, hotels, bars, and clubs are one thing, but what about food safety at home? Naturally, protecting food from contamination becomes a matter of personal responsibility once the food has been taken from the supermarket and into the home, and the risk of contamination does not suddenly disappear at this stage in the journey of foodstuffs from production to consumption. For one thing, that long journey from where the food is produced to your dinner table offers potential for contamination and a lack of good food hygiene practices around the home can also see it contaminated right there.
For this reason, new food safety technology is not simply restricted to the food production or the service industries, and there are many new and innovative technologies that are improving food safety around the home as well. Truly, food safety technology is reaching a broad new horizon and seeing increased potential for application in an expanded range of circumstances.
New Food Safety Technology
Driving the development of all this new food safety technology are the alarmingly high incidences of outbreaks and contamination in all circumstances where food is present. But while this might lead you to expect that new innovations all revolve around food production and storage, much of this new technology also takes the form of the very tools that are used in food preparation.
Accordingly, a lot of this anti-contamination technology is integrated into kitchen appliances – or it might actually be a kitchen appliance itself. You can toss away this idea of food safety being the concern of those in the agriculture and food production industries; the latest kitchen utensils, appliances, and fittings are often developed specifically with food safety in mind. This is just another aspect demonstrating how broad these new technological horizons actually are. And just as the safety-conscious homeowner might search for the best fire extinguishers to buy online, much of this new technology could soon be topping the wish lists of ordinary homeowners.
The Best New Food Safety Technology
So, which new devices and technologies are having the biggest impact on food safety? In other words, what are the new technologies that really have the potential to do something about incidences of food contamination and the resultant levels of foodborne illness. Here follows some of the latest tech (soon to be) making a real difference:
This is a technology that has actually been around for a while, but which is finally beginning to be used more universally. Automated monitoring refers to any device that monitors certain metrics of food storage safety, triggering an alert to the relevant authorities when this indicates a danger of contamination or spoiling. As things stand, they are frequently used in restaurant kitchens, with the systems triggering an alert when a freezer’s temperature increases, to take but one example. These systems are clearly an improvement on the manual checking which used to be a strenuous and regular job for kitchen staff. And at long last, automated monitoring technology is finally making it into the domestic kitchen, often being integrated into refrigerators.
E-learning is a new organizational technology that has applications in many more areas than just food safety. However, it has proven especially useful for instructing human staff on the best ways to keep food from contamination and customers safe. For instance, when the food is untouched by human hands, the probability of it getting spoiled or contaminated tends to reduce significantly. This can be done through the installation of equipment similar to Vibratory Conveyor Machinery and others, which can move the food products from one stage to another, without bringing them in human contact. It would ensure utmost food safety. The information of such technology or any latest related innovations comes through active E-learning. With the ability to deploy information quickly and through handheld devices, it is now possible for staff to undergo a seconds-long refresher course for a particular food safety best practice – while they are actually on the job. And the only hardware required is a smartphone.
In the food industry today, there is increased pressure to adopt preservation and pasteurization methods much more widely than they currently are. With ready meals continuing to be popular, the imperative to sanitize and package food with minimal exposure to bacteria is a strong one. Infrared heating is a technology for surface pasteurization and is most commonly used to sanitize meats. It works by generating enough heat to kill off bacteria but not to cook the food. It is likely that infrared heating could soon make an appearance in the home kitchen too.
The problem with food safety regulations and mandated practices is that they can be long and complex and difficult for large food outlets to follow to the letter. Indeed, a lot of outbreaks and contamination happens in precisely this way. New apps that streamline the process and collect contamination reports, upcoming audits, and so on are making the job of following the law easier. Combined with automatic sensors and other technologies in this area, the potential for human error in food safety is being steadily decreased.
Ultimately, food safety is one of those things which truly is in everybody’s interests to support. And the best support food safety has ever had could be here now in the form of these innovative new technologies.