There are various sources of contamination of Biscuits and Cookies. The major sources of In-process contamination are:
- Empty containers without covering
- Improper Handling
- In-appropriate GMP in Plat
- Plant machinery
- Small items of Equipments and many more.
Let us discuss broadly about about mentions issue which may be a major source of contamination in Cookies and biscuits.
Major Sources of food Contamination of Bakery Products
- When bags or boxes are opened and emptied there is a great potential for contamination. Pieces of string or paper removed in the opening process must be placed in rubbish bins and not on the floor.
- Before inverting a bag, box or other type of container, ensure that it has not collected floor or surface dirt that could fall into an unwanted place.
- Dispose of the empty container in a responsible way so that spillage or dust is avoided as much as possible and it is not a danger to other workers.
Small items of equipment
Sources of Contamination in Biscuits
- In most biscuit factories it is necessary to use bowls, beakers or trays to carry and weigh ingredients for dough. These should be made of metal or plastic because glass is particularly dangerous, making splinters or small fragments if broken.
- Glass containers must never be taken into production areas. Where ingredients are delivered in glass containers they should be dispensed into non-breakable containers in specially designated rooms away from the production areas.
- Colour coding of containers is better than labels which may fall off. Elastic bands provide a particular hazard due to their tendency to fly off in unexpected directions and become lost.
- All utensils should be stored, full or empty, on special clean stillage so that they are off the floor. This is to ensure that when inverted no floor dirt can fall from them on to product or into a mixer. After use all containers should be washed in hot water, with detergent as necessary, and left inverted to dry.
- At the end of each production run all machines should be cleaned immediately so that buildup of dough or other materials does not become hard, or mouldy and an attraction for insects.
- As a basic principle, all food machinery should be mounted off the floor so that the floor can be thoroughly swept or washed at regular intervals.
- Covers for the moving parts of machinery should be properly fmed at all times and kept in good repair. All surfaces should be wiped down regularly and washed with warm water and detergent if necessary.
- Fabric conveyors should be checked regularly to watch for frayed edges or seams. If necessary these should be trimmed with a sharp knife or the conveyor replaced.If a machine is not to be used for some time it should be covered with a dust sheet.
- Drip trays and other catch containers must be emptied and cleaned regularly, but certainly at the end of each production run.
Handling and GMP in Buildings and general factory areas and avoid the Entry of Pest
- A major source of contamination is from insects, animals and birds. Also dirt or loose particles falling from overhead areas offer potential hazards.
- Flying insects and birds must be excluded from the factory by using screens over ventilation fans and windows which open. Open doorways should have plastic strip or air curtains to prevent entry of insects and birds.
- Doors to the outside should fit closely to the floor so that animals cannot enter at night or other times.
- Rodent control systems should be regularly maintained and any bait must be placed only in specially designed and sited containers which are clearly marked. Damaged bait containers should be disposed of immediately and safely.
Biscuits will be unfit or unpleasant to eat if they are contaminated in the course of their manufacture and packaging. Contaminated means that unwanted material becomes included in or on them. Some forms of contamination may be positively dangerous to the health of those who eat the biscuits.
It is therefore important that the problem of contamination is considered because it is the basis of food hygiene which is the responsibility of all who work with food. It is not possible to list all the possible hazards to hygiene that may be encountered in a biscuit factory but the following section should help to make you aware of the likely problem areas.
Biscuits Food Safety Hazards- Source of Contamination
Contamination may come from people via the microorganisms on their hands. Hairs, buttons and pieces of jewellery may fall from their bodies and clothes and articles may fall from pockets. The most important requirement for all those who handle, or are likely to handle food, is to observe basic rules of personal hygiene.
People: Main Source of Contamination
- Disease is quickly spread if food handlers are negligent about hand washing following visits to toilets. It is very unpleasant to have food contaminated with grease or other dirt from unwashed hands.
- At all food premises good, clean washing facilities must be provided with continuous supplies of hot and cold water, non-scented soap and disposable towels. Cold water with no soap and communal towels are not adequate.
- Hand washing sinks and facilities must be separate from those used to wash equipment. All food handlers must ensure that their hands are washed and clean before handling food and it is particularly important that their hands are washed after each visit to the toilet.
- Employers must provide clean overalls and hair coverings for all personnel. These should be worn only in the food factory. No personal food, drink containers, loose money, pins, jewellery (other than plain wedding rings), watches, radios, books, newspapers and smoking tackle should be allowed into the production areas. Hair brushing or combing necessitating removal of head gear should be forbidden in production areas. In this way the possibility of contamination by loose articles is significantly reduced.
- Smoking involves the hands becoming contaminated with saliva and the by-products – matches, ash and cigarette ends, are particularly repulsive. No smoking should ever be allowed in the production areas.
- Operators who have cuts, abrasions or skin infections, particularly on the hands or arms, should be especially careful. Bandages or dressings should be of good quality and be, at least partly, brightly coloured and easily detectable should they be lost.
- In those premises where metal detectors are available for product scanning, it is additionally useful for the bandages to contain metal strips that will be found automatically should a bandage be lost in the product.
- Food handlers suffering from intestinal complaints such as diarrhoea or other contagious diseases should be required to keep away from production areas until they recover.
- It is frequently necessary for operators to carry certain small articles with them in the course of their duties. Articles such as pens, pencils, gauges and various tools should not be carried in top pockets in case, while bending over, they should fall into the product or machines. Overalls provided with no top pockets remove this possibility!
- Where gloves are needed either of fabric type (as for chocolate handling) or waterproof, they require regular washing and drying both inside and out. Gloves should not be used by more than one person and they should be replaced when damaged.