Food Safety Incidents

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What is a food safety incident?

A food safety incident is a risk (either potential or real) to the food that may require you to take action to protect the consumers. These risks could occur anywhere within the food supply chain.

These incidents are either:

  1. Contamination of food, or
  2. Environmental pollution

Food safety incidents are important to identify and resolve as quickly as possible. This is because of the drastic negative effects that could occur from risks associated to food.


What diseases can you get from food?

Food poisoning can be caused by many different bacteria or viruses along the supply chain. Some can cause more severe symptoms than others and can even cause very serious health concerns, when these are ingested.

Food poisoning symptoms usually include vomiting, stomach cramps and nausea, as well a large array of other symptoms.

The risks for your business include:

  • Norovirus
  • Salmonella
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Clostridium botulinum
  • Campylobacter
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Listeria
  • E.coli
  • Vibrio


What causes food to spoil?

There are two main ways to cause your food to spoil. Both of these methods should be taken into account with businesses and their handling of their food along the supply chain.

The first and main way that food spoils is because of bacteria. Microscopic bacteria feasts on uncovered or unprotected foods, in moist conditions, bacteria will multiply very quickly. The microscopic bacteria’s waste is what causes the smell and appearance of rotten food. With some bacteria, there will be a large number of toxic bacteria but there will be no rotten food smell or appearance. So, it is important to track and be aware of how long food has been uncovered or unprotected, especially for high risk foods such as chicken.

The other main way that food can spoil is food storage. As bacteria multiplies and grows in warm, damp areas, it is important to ensure we are storing specific foods in their specific food storage conditions. Some food needs to be stored in a dry place away from the sun, and some need to be in a chilled environment. All food needs to be stored in an airtight container, and in separate containers for the different food groups.


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