FBOs need to manage the waste generated in their food premises according to regulations set by FSSAI. The guidelines in Schedule 4 have been made to ensure that waste does not come directly or indirectly in contact with foods. FBOs also need to have preventive measures in place to keep out flies, insects and pests from their premises. Cross contamination from flies, insects and pests that have come in contact with the disposed waste could carry bacteria to the food from the waste.
Effective waste disposal is required to prevent food borne diseases and to ensure food safety by the FBOs. All food waste must also be kept away from surfaces and equipment to reduce the risk of cross contamination. There must be sufficient waste bins in the food preparation areas which are positioned conveniently for the food handlers to use. Waste disposal bins used in food preparation areas need to have secure covers so pests can be kept out of searching food in them.
Wet and Dry Waste
It is important to clearly distinguish waste bins from other kinds of bins which may be used for storage. There must also be separate bins for wet and dry waste as that increases food safety. Wet waste is what attracts flies and pests and frequent emptying of these bins into an appropriate disposal area is a good practice. Dry waste can be kept for longer periods without it causing growth of bacteria. All bins must be kept clean or the microbiological contaminants will grow and spread and cause a food safety risk.
Bins in the food preparation areas must not be allowed to overfill or the food waste could scatter and flies and pests could easily be attracted to scattered waste. Once food waste is removed from the food preparation areas and is pending disposal, then it must be placed in tightly covered waste storage bags or bins. However, disposable waste must not be kept undisposed for long periods, so having it collected on a regular basis would reduce food safety risk.
Daily removal of food scraps from the food preparation areas is a good food safety practice. Using a bin liner reduces contamination as the bins are kept clean. Never the less bins must be washed regularly with recommended cleaners so harmful bacteria do not find a safe harbour. While waste disposal is all important for food safety,it is also a good practice to control pest entry according to regulations set by FSSAI.
Pest infestations as a big food safety risk because they can spread contamination unknowingly. Therefore look out for the following signs
- Droppings and strange smells.
- bite marks or tears in foods packaging
- disturbance in areas where food is stored
Controlling pest entry into food preparation and food storage areas means ensuring food safety and so ensure
all holes and cracks are properly sealed
- Doors and windows have mesh screens and close properly
- Drain outlets must have coverings to prevent entry
- Have regular and recorded pest checks