Finding food is not a difficult task in today’s age and time. You do not have to go to fields and pluck fresh produce to cook a decent meal. Nowadays everything is readily available in supermarkets and food retail stores. In these places, the food is stored in refrigerators and fish fridge and we expect it to be safe. But there are a lot of factors that play an important role in ensuring food safety. Even the slightest mistake can lead to food borne illnesses.
It is important to be aware of the food safety issues that are a possibility even if the food is stored and displayed in energy efficient refrigerators and brightly lit shelves.
Poor Personal Hygiene of The Staff:
To ensure food safety it is important that the people handling the food are clean and hygienic. If the staff responsible for stacking the shelves or unloading the boxes is not particular about good hygiene then the chances of food contamination are high.
You notice any staff member of a supermarket or food retail store to be smoking in the premises or spitting or wearing dirty clothes, etc. then you should report it because such things spread food contamination. If you spot any sick employees working in a food store then it is a food safety violation as well. If you notice any safety violation then make sure you report them and find another store to get your food.
The Shopping Trolleys and Baskets:
Everyone uses the shopping trolleys and baskets in the food store to carry around the food they are buying. Not many people think of them as a food safety hazard. These trolleys and baskets are used by countless customers so they will have a lot of germs and bacteria on them. While shopping you will never take the food out of the packaging and put it in the basket or trolley. Make sure you wash hands or use a sanitizer after carrying the basket or handling a trolley.
Rodents and Insects:
The food retail stores and supermarkets are big and there are stores that ignore the importance of cleanliness. The rodents and insects are attracted to food and if you ever spot a mouse or even a fly in the store you should stop shopping at the store.
The rodents and flies are a clear indication of food contamination. They are a common source of contamination and a sign that the store is violating several health and safety codes.
Poor Maintenance and Building Design Effects Food Safety:
When you go food shopping and you notice that the shelves and food storage appliances are dirty then is a sign of food contamination. The good food stores are spotless and there is no spillage on the floor or stains on the shelves or appliances.
The poor design of the store is also a food safety hazard. If the building had open drains, cracked windows, vents, etc. then you are offering pests and insects easy access to the food.