Food production and manufacturing facilities need extremely high levels of hygiene and specialist cleaning services to ensure that they reduce several risks. These risks can come from unwanted infestations from pests, odours, and contamination. Regarding the latter, cross-contamination poses one of the greatest risks – it can occur in many different settings and ways, including through decomposing food matter, and through build-up that occurs at wall junctions and within food production machinery.
If these risks become a reality, then one of the greatest concerns is that food can become unsuitable for human consumption. Not only can this cause illness, but it can also cause several other consequences for your business, including penalties and prosecution. Here are the consequences that having poor hygiene in a food production and manufacturing facility can include:
Contamination of products – This can occur in many different settings and ways. For example, using contaminated water or ice to wash and pack fruits and vegetables can contaminate those products. If harmful germs are present on food processing surfaces, then germs can spread to the foods that touch these surfaces.
Bacteria, parasites and viruses – These can cause over 200 illnesses with varying degrees of severity, from diarrhoea to cancers. Unsafe food can cause a vicious spread of disease, so it’s important to minimise the risk of bacteria, parasites and viruses.
Cross-contamination of allergens – This tends to happen when several food products are produced on the same premises, and it tends to happen unintentionally when an allergen enters a product at some stage throughout the production process. Effective cleaning methods can remove the presence of allergens and therefore reduce the risk.
Risk of prosecution – If you breach food safety legislation and food hygiene regulations, you could face prosecution or serious financial penalties. This can lead to the loss of the business entirely.
Loss of reputation and customers – If you earn a bad reputation for having poor food hygiene standards, then your reputation will start to deteriorate within the industry. This can then lead to a loss of customers, which can have severe consequences for your business. It may even lead to the end of your company.