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Food safety in bakery industry: Best practices & regulations
Thursday, 13 June, 2024, 15 : 00 PM [IST]
Chef Pratyay Keny
As a chef and someone who loves to create fun baked goods, ensuring food safety is top priority. The bakery industry in India is booming, with a variety of delicious offerings ranging from traditional sweets to modern pastries. But with this development comes the obligation to adhere to strict food safety standards to protect consumers and maintain the reputation of a bakery This article examines best practices and regulations related to food safety in retail various bakeries in India, the training and certification requirements for bakery personnel, and the implementation of a robust food safety management system.

Ensuring food safety is paramount in the bakery business in India, where varied and delicious bread is a priority for many households. The Food Safety Standards Board of India (FSSAI) plays an important role in setting and enforcing food safety regulations. The Food Safety Standards Act, 2006, mandates that all commercial bakeries must be properly licensed, maintain strict hygiene standards and have a Food Safety Management System (FSMS) based on Hazard Assessment and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles various types of applications

Training and certification are essential to maintain high food safety standards. The Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC) program ensures that bakery staff are well-versed in hygiene practices, cross-contamination prevention, and allergen management. Regular audits and inspections, both internal and external, are conducted to ensure compliance with these standard

Training and Certification Requirements for Bakery Staff

A bakery requires highly trained and certified staff to ensure food safety. Training programs for bakery workers in India should cover a wide range of topics to ensure that everyone is equipped to maintain high food safety standards.

Basic Food Safety Training
All bakery staff should receive basic food safety training that covers:

Personal Hygiene: Proper hand washing techniques, use of protective clothing, and avoidance of potentially contaminating behaviors.
Cross-contamination prevention: The prevention of the spread of a contaminant from one surface or food to another.
Sanitation and Hygiene: Know proper methods for cleaning and maintaining equipment and surfaces.

FSSAI certification
FSSAI offers various certification schemes to ensure that the bakery industry meets industry standards for food safety. The Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC) program provides comprehensive training in food safety and hygiene practices. Legislation or industry standards often require certification through FoSTaC and must be updated periodically to ensure continued compliance.

A robust food safety management system (FSMS) is essential to consistently produce safe and high-quality baked goods. Implementing an FSMS involves several basic steps:

Risk assessment
The first step is to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment to identify potential food safety hazards in the bakery business. It examines every step of the manufacturing process, from raw material sourcing to final packaging

Development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Establish SOPs including ingredients, baking methods, sanitation and storage.
Ensure consistency in the following procedures.

Implementation of HACCP
Identify critical areas of use and set critical limits.
Monitor and document regularly to ensure compliance.

Training and Education
Provide ongoing training on SOPs, HACCPs and other relevant food safety regulations.
Ensure all employees understand their role in maintaining a healthy diet.

By enforcing these measures, bakeries can protect consumer health, and reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Furthermore, consistent compliance with these regulations enhances the bakery’s reputation for quality and safety. Customers tend to trust and support bakeries that put their well-being first, leading to increased customer loyalty and business performance Overall, implementing good food safety practices not only protects public health but rather contributes to the long-term and sustainable success of the bakery business in India.

(The author is pastry chef at Academy of Pastry and Culinary Arts, Mumbai)
 
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