Export food hygiene checklist

Here is a basic food hygiene checklist, based on HACCP.

Food and beverage supply chain hazards and critical control points (HACCP) is legislated for export of regulated agricultural plant products like tea.

Standards for Food Safety and Food Hygiene of Regulated Agricultural Products of Plant Origin for export, are stipulated under 4(3)(a)(ii) of the Agricultural Products Standards Act 119 of 1990, in notice R707 of 13 May 2005.

An FBO checklist for drying facilities of dried fruit and honey bush tea, revised in September 2007 and implemented December 2007, offers a template for these and similar food production health and safety management.

Biological risks or working with and consuming dried fruit or honey bush tea are large, since types of salmonella (food poisoning) could grow on these foods.

The scope of the standards includes drying, handling, preparation and chemical treatment of dried fruit, rooibos and honey bush tea destined for export.

Operators should respond either ‘Applicable’ or ‘Not Applicable’, and either ‘Critical’, ‘Major’, or ‘Minor’ to each element;

1 TRACEABILITY
1.1 Is product traceable at drying facility?
1.1.1 Is product received for drying identified?
1.1.2 Are sources and handlers of products identified?
1.1.3 Is product traceable within the drying facility?

1.2 Are products traceable to the next entity?
1.2.1 Is the drying facility identified as sender of the product?
1.2.2 Is product that leaves the drying facility identified?
1.2.3 Is a next receiver in the supply chain identified?

2.HACCP PRINCIPLES
2.1 Is a document available to indicate that a hazard analysis of the process in the store has been done, taking into consideration biological, chemical and physical hazards?

If a hazard was identified that is not addressed by the measures indicated in this checklist, were appropriate control points implemented to control the hazard?

3 LOCATION OF DRYING FACILITY
3.1 Is a storage facility located away from areas that pose threats to food safety?

4 WATER SUPPLY
4.1 Is where in contact with the product potable, of drinking quality?

5 DRAINAGE AND WASTE DISPOSAL
5.1 Are waste disposal containers and areas specifically identified, cleaned and maintained?
5.2 Are grounds in the vicinity of the preparation and drying areas free of litter, waste and improperly stored waste?

6 PERSONAL HYGIENE
6.1 Does the storage facility have documented hygiene instructions?
6.2 Do workers implement hygiene instructions?
6.3 Are workers trained in basic hygiene?
6.4 Do workers have access to first aid facilities?
6.5 Are adequate, suitable and convenientl sanitary facilities available?
6.6 Are sanitary facilities maintained?

7 STORAGE (CLEANING CHEMICALS)
7.1 Is storage facility of cleaning chemicals suitable and secure?
7.2 Are chemicals properly labelled?

8 HANDLING AND DRYING AREA AND EQUIPMENT
8.1 Are surfaces adequately maintained to minimise product contamination and to facilitate cleaning?
8.2 Is there a procedure in place to remove standing water from the drying facility?
n/a if floor surfaces are not used for drying.

8.3 Is drying area fenced off to prevent the access by animals?
8.4 Is there a procedure in place for the effective management of weeds?
n/a if floor surfaces are not used for drying.

8.5 Is application of chemical means of weed control done within legislative requirements?
n/a if floor surfaces are not used for drying.

8.6 Is the application of chemical form of weed control recorded?
8.7 Is the area used for drying, free from trees, plants and bushes to prevent contamination of the product with seeds, thorns and fruit?
8.8 Is there a procedure for closely searching for sources of possible contamination like glass, plastics, metals, nuts?

9 MAINTENANCE and CLEANING
9.1 Are the drying surfaces cleaned regularly?
9.2 Is there a procedure in place whereby preparation and drying equipment and containers are cleaned, inspected and sanitized regularly?
9.3 Is all equipment (including tractors) used, adequately maintained without oil leaks?

10 HANDLING OF POST HARVEST CHEMICALS and DRYING AIDS
10.1.1 Are chemicals used for specified use as indicated on labels?
10.1.2 Are chemicals registered in for use in South Africa?

10.2 Records of chemical application
10.2.1 Has the date for all applications been recorded?
10.2.2 Has the amount of chemical applied been recorded?

10.3 Storage of chemicals (applicable to commercial drying facilities)
10.3.1 Is the storage facility for post harvest chemicals suitable, secure and permitted to authorised personnel?
10.3.2 Are only pesticides, measuring and spraying equipment stored in the pesticide store?
10.3.3 Are chemicals stored in original packaging?

11 TRANSPORT OF DRIED PRODUCT
11.1 Is there a procedure for transport of dried product to the following destination in a hygienic way?

AUDIT SUMMARY
Totals of control points applicable [   ], critical [  ], major [  ], minor [  ];
Expressed as ratios; A : C : Ma : Mi.
General Comments; ,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Auditor signature ,,,,
FBO representative signature ,,,,
FBO Code ,,,,
Date ,,,,

PHOTO; Mechanical spreading of drying rooibos tea leaves on a drying floor, by a tractor driven centrifugal fan and manual broom teams. Food and beverage contamination risks require astute management of equipment, cleaning chemicals, and manual handling processes.

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