Certified Organic Food Products

Organic certification is a process of certification for organic food producers and the producers of other organic agricultural products. Any business that is directly involved in the food production process can seek certification, and this includes the suppliers of seeds and growing materials, farmers, companies that process food items, and restaurants and retailers as well.

From one country to the next you will find that the requirements for organic certification vary, but there are usually production standards in place that dictate growing, storage, packaging, processing and shipping requirements.

These production standards require the avoidance of synthetic chemicals, like pesticides, food additives, fertilizers, antibiotics, organisms that are genetically modified, the use of sewage sludge and irradiation. They also require keeping detailed written records of sales and production, and the use of farmland that has been completely free of all chemical inputs for at least three or more years.

In order to obtain organic certification, it is also required that organic products be completely physically separated from non certified food products, and every certified organic site is required to undergo periodic inspections to show that standards are being maintained.

The concept of organic certification addresses a growing demand for organic food on a truly worldwide level. Certified organic food products exist to assure the quality of the food that we eat, while promoting commerce at the same time. In the earliest days of the organic movement, organic certification was not required but as more consumers turn toward organic food products through the more traditional channels like grocery stores and supermarkets, the need for certification has grown exponentially. In many countries the certification process is overseen by the government, which means that there are legal restrictions on using the term “organic”. Certified organic food product producers are also held to the same level of food health and safety standards as non-certified food producers.

What makes these certifications for organically produced foods such an outstanding idea is that they show consumers which food products can be trusted. Because certified organic food products are held to guidelines and standards, consumers who purchase food items that are certified organic can rest assured that they are grown right, without chemicals or additives, ensuring healthy and risk free food products. The organic movement is growing at a quick and steady pace as more consumers realize the health benefits associated with buying organic.

As more and more consumers turn toward certified organic food products to feed themselves and their families, the guidelines associated with organic certification tend to grow increasingly specific. Growing and processing food organically is not a difficult task at all for most food producers, but it does require that these companies take a long and hard look at the way that they regard the production of food, especially when it comes to growing naturally without pesticides or other chemicals and additives.

Understanding The Role Of Packaging In The Food Industry

For businesses involved in the manufacturing and retail of food products, the packaging is more than just a pretty container to attract the attention of buyers. It is a vital part of the product and as such, it could make or break any product launch. Unfortunately, this fact is lost on many retailers and manufacturers. The result: domestic food and beverage recalls have tripled since 1999. That is a staggering fact that should make any food-related business think more of their product’s packaging.

It is not a secret that the packaging of food and beverage greatly influences the experience of consumers with your product. For instance, does it take plenty of struggling for the consumer just to get to the product? One might think that it could be a minor hassle for consumers but this little inconvenience could turn them off from your product. It is therefore important that you understand the role of packaging in the food industry.

First of all, it’s most important job is to protect the product. You want your product to reach your clientele in one piece. This means that the container should stand the common stresses the package is subjected to during handling and transport of the products from the point of production to retail shelves.

Aside from protecting the product, it is important that food containers be safe. This means that it should be designed to avoid product recalls due to contamination and other health hazards. The materials used for the container should therefore be safe. Rigorous testing should be done to make sure that it would not contaminate or jeopardize the safety of the products for human consumption.

Another thing that a product container should achieve is to keep products fresh. Some food products are meant to be consumed in their freshest state. The package should keep products’ appearance in the best possible way. The quality of the food product should also be maintained.

The fourth role is for branding purposes. The packaging should be designed with a concrete plan behind it. This means that you should have clear identity for your brand that you want to project. Would you go for convenience? What about appeal? The things is, no matter what you choose, you have to make sure that the packaging should be true to all its other roles.

The food industry is a competitive one especially today when products meant to be consumed on the go are becoming very popular and any business should make it a priority to maximize the branding potential of product packaging.

Safety Requirements in the Food Production Industry

Anyone working with food uses shirt protection and other safety items to help contain the mess and prevent the contamination of food. Those working in food production plants have even more stringent rules. In addition to a disposable shirt and other protective clothing, employees of these plants often wear total body protection that is designed specifically for their jobs including items such as hearing protection and chain mail.

Disposable Shirt Protection And Protective Clothing

Wearing items such as disposable shirt protection and other protective garments has two important purposes in the food production industry. First, it prevents hair, lint, and any other things that may be on your clothes from getting into the food. Disposable shirt protection also keeps the food from getting onto your clothing. This prevents you from taking the food remnants home with you. They also help prevent remnants from one food accidentally falling onto surfaces outside of the work area.

Hair And Head Covering

Anytime you work with food that someone else will purchase or that will be consumed by someone else, you need to have your head and hair covered. At the very least, workers need to wear mesh or disposable paper-like hairnets. In food production plants, they may also have to wear protection such as hardhats that will keep them safe if some of the food would fall off upper conveyor belts.

Chainmail

In a meat or vegetable processing plant that requires the use of knives, workers are required to wear added safety equipment that helps prevents cuts and other injuries. Commonly referred to as chainmail, these are a metal mesh-like covering that goes over their body. It prevents the knife blade from making contact with the worker’s skin. In many cases, workers may also wear metal gloves over their regular gloves.

Gloves

Anytime you work with food, you should wear a disposable glove such as plastic or latex to prevent contaminating the food you are working with and spreading it to other edible items and preparation surfaces. In manufacturing plants, gloves are worn at all times and switched any time you move from one food item to another and several times throughout the day.

Shoes

The proper footwear is an important safety precaution in any job that involves food. In sensitive areas such as hospitals and manufacturing, workers may have to wear shoe covers or have a special pair of footwear that is used only in that area. The one constant is that the shoes cover your entire foot. This provides your feet with added protection if you should drop a knife or spill a hot liquid.

Hearing Protection

Food production plants use various pieces of industrial machinery to make the work easier and more efficient. Unfortunately, these machines also greatly increase the amount of noise within the building. This requires earplugs or earmuffs to protect your hearing.

The primary concern of any business in the food industry is the safety for the worker and for the customers consuming the products. Disposable shirt protection and other items are only part of achieving this goal. Proper education along with quality safety gear is the secret to ensuring everyone stays safe.