There are many elements involved in ensuring food safety and security, and they start from the agriculture industry. After millennia of farming and planting, humans have been inventing methods to harvest fresh produces and turning them into food supplies, which involves safety measures. Learn how technology in agriculture supports food safety and other important elements.
What is Food Safety and Security?
Food safety refers to the process of preserving the quality of food in all stages to prevent illness. While this term often refers to the preparation, storing, and cooking process, it also encompasses other activities related to the food we consume, including agriculture.
Each country has a formal institution that creates standards in the agricultural process so consumers will only get the safest food or ingredients. The United States, for example, has Food Safety Monitoring Act (FSMA) that has become the gold standard in agriculture inspection and compliances.
In the process of agriculture assessment, everyone involved must make sure that the process is compliant with formal quality standards and laws. Inspectors and other responsible officers have tasks of inspecting various food production and distribution activities, such as the use of insecticide, inspection of farm trucks before entering the state border, and many more.
Why Food Safety and Security is Important?
Ensuring food safety through agricultural practices not only prevents risks of food-borne illness. It will heavily reduce the financial burden in healthcare because fewer people contract illness from what they eat. Safety and security in public health also help improve productivity and the economy because people can stay healthy longer.
The food sector is an important element in the economy. Keeping the agricultural standard high means ensuring enough supplies of high-quality produces to feed the population. Secure food supply means a better economy, which relates to consumer confidence. Secure food supply also gives many business owners, including small and medium-sized businesses, more security in securing stocks of ingredients.
Finally, food safety and security ease people from financial troubles because of possible illness. It means people can divest their resources for other activities instead of managing the effects of food-borne illness.
Important Things to Do in Agriculture Inspection
There are several important tasks to do during the process of agriculture inspection. Here is the list of activities to ensure food safety and security:
1. Checking the Equipment and Facilities
Farming equipment and facilities can be hazardous for farmers. They possess many hazards from damages, electrical and mechanical failures, and safety hazards like slipping and falling. Poorly maintained equipment, tools, and facilities can hinder farming activities, resulting in lower harvest quantities and qualities.
2. Checking the Risk of Chemical Hazard
Chemical hazards may come from products such as herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. Excessive usage may result in contamination in soil water and even danger for people who consume the food made of the produces.
3. Checking the Meat and Dairy Productions
Meat and dairy productions are risky because they require a high level of hygienic standards. Dairy products, meat, and egg are also known for posing health risks if they are not processed properly. Every stage in the production, from slaughtering or milk production to storing and packaging, must be done correctly.
4. Checking the Process of Storage and Distribution
Storage and distribution must be done properly, following proper standards based on regulations. Make sure that every process is done in a way that minimizes damages, contamination, and other problems
5. Checking the General Safety Hazards
Working on a farm poses various safety hazards. People can experience accidents such as slips, falls, or injuries by machinery. Long work hours, weather, and health risks from handling raw produce are also present.
How to make sure that every stage in the checklist is done properly? Using agriculture technology such as Nimbly will help.
How Nimbly Help as an Agriculture Technology
Nimbly is a management tool for more than supporting food safety in agricultural activities. Nimbly offers several features, including a digital checklist and issue tracker. You can conduct checking based on the digital checklist, which can be shared through a real-time dashboard. The digital checklist eliminates the need for printed documents, and the results can be shared immediately.
Issue tracker makes risk management easier. The inspector will immediately get notified about any problem that arises based on the standard in the checklist. They can notify anyone responsible for fixing it through the real-time dashboard, making the process quicker.
Keeping food safety and security standards high starts from the farm. Make sure you use Nimbly to check all the important stages regarding agricultural inspection and activities.