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Food Safety and Quality Assurance in the Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Industry

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Food safety and quality both differ in terms of their preferred levels by different countries. Hence, it is not easy to describe them at a global level. As for food quality, a customer may be able to identify poor quality as a result of defects in the food while for food safety; customers do not easily recognize safety issues as they are concealed. Food safety issues are only detected on consumption. This means that food safety issues are dangerous and they may cause serious health issues. The evaluation of food safety and quality are processes that begin right from soil preparation to harvesting and consumption of the foods. There are various programs that have been set up to ensure that food quality and safety is met internationally of which several of their abbreviations are given as examples. They include GAPs, GMPs, GHPs, SOPs, SSOPs, HACCP and QMSs. Looking at the quality features of foods; they can be grouped into three groups which include external, internal and hidden. External features include feel, defects and look. Internal features include taste, feel, and smell while hidden features include wholesomeness, the value it adds nutritionally and its safety (Hester & Harrison, 2001).Fresh fruits and vegetables perish very quickly. They are easily spoilt as they are handled by the chain of handlers after production up to their points of sale. Their spoiling easily results in quick decay which leads to their loss. It has been noted that in developing countries, after their production, the rate of loss due to food spoilage is around 50%. This is a high rate considering that it is half of the quantity of the produced foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain around 65 – 95% of water in them. They go on with their metabolism even after they are harvested. These results to a change of their features due to the way they are handled treated or stored. The major causes of loss after harvest include mechanical injury, loss of water and color loss (Lamikanra, 2002).The main aim of the production of fruit and vegetables is the delivery of a safe and whole product that the consumer can feed on. However, fresh fruits and vegetables have been identified as major causes of chemical contaminants and pathogens to consumer health globally. Hence, it is important to comprehend these causes so as to ensure that they do not lead to lethal health effects on the human consumers. To enhance the food safety, an evaluation of the
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preview essay on Food Safety and Quality Assurance in the Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Industry
  • Pages: 9 (2250 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Agriculture
  • Level: Undergraduate
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