In-house control refers to the operator's own system used by the operator to verify that food products are safe and comply with the requirements of food legislation. Operators must identify the food safety risks related to their own operation and the foods they handle, and ensure that these risks are under control.
Risks and hazards related to food
As a rule, the safety of foods is better than ever before. However, they may involve hazards that can cause adverse health effects to people. A risk refers to the possibility or probability of an adverse health effect caused by a hazard. Hazards can be microbiological, chemical or physical factors which impair the safety of foods and cause adverse health effects to consumers. Risks vary from one food to another, and it is difficult to compare the short and long-term effects that they have.
Risks related to food may include:
- Inadequate or excessive intake of food, resulting in malnutrition or overweight, respectively.
- The composition of food can be unfavourable to health. For example, excessive intake of hard fat may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and excessive intake of sugary products may cause tooth decay.
- Food or drinking water may contain microbes or micro-organisms which can cause infectious diseases or food poisoning.
- Foods may contain naturally occurring harmful substances, such as lectins in legumes.
- People may also ingest various environmental contaminants or chemical substances in food, such as dioxin, methylmercury, additives, pesticides, etc.
Exposure to risks of own choice is not as frightening as risks that the consumers cannot control through their own choice. Excessive intake of fat or sugar from food is not as daunting as mad cow's disease, environmental toxins or harmful microbes.
Some consumers are particularly sensitive to certain risks related to food. Risk groups include children under school age, pregnant and nursing women, elderly people and people who are seriously ill (e.g. cancer) and therefore have a lower resistance
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