Food: Anything that is solid or liquid that provides nutrients to the body when digested. It helps the body to grow, repair worn out tissues, and provides energy for work.
Food Safety: This involves our method of handling, cooking, or storing food to ensure it is safe from food-borne diseases. When food is safe, we won’t fall ill after eating it.
Food Security: According to the United Nations Committee on World Food Security, food security is defined as meaning that all people, always, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food.
Food Allergen: This occurs when a person’s immune system reacts to certain proteins in food. The symptoms can be mild from lip swelling or can be life-threatening leading to death in some cases. This is why all food-producing companies must declare it on their package. We have major food allergens which are milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soybeans, and sesame.
Food-borne Diseases: or food poisoning occurs when food is contaminated with infectious organisms (bacteria, viruses, or fungi) or their toxins. The symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pains etc
Food Fraud: As the name implies, it is the purposeful act of tampering or altering food products to deceive consumers about the quality and content of the food for financial gain.
Food Defense: This is the process of securing food from contamination or adulteration to cause harm or create a public health issue. This is put in place to prevent food fraud.
Consumer: These are the end users of the product or services rendered. They are one of the major stakeholders for every business which is why their needs are not only met but exceeded.
Cross Contamination: This is the transfer of harmful microorganisms from one food to another. It can be from a food contact surface to the food or from the food handlers to the food. This is why proper storage and hygiene is very key in the food sector.
Food Hazard: This is any substance found in food that can cause harm, illness, or injury to the consumers. They are grouped into biological hazards (bacteria, viruses, fungi), physical hazards (glass, metal, plastic, etc.), chemical hazards (pesticide residues, cleaning agents, etc.), and allergenic materials (examples can be found above under ‘food allergen’).
High-risk Foods: These are called high-risk because they are more likely to support the growth of bacteria leading to food poisoning. Examples include soups, cooked meat or fish, ice cream, pastries, dairy products, and carrots.
Low-risk Foods: These are foods that are less likely to cause food poisoning as they can be stored in ambient temperatures. This is because they contain less of the nutrients required to support the growth of microorganisms. Examples are biscuits, preserved food with salt, cooked eggs, plain bread, and uncut fruits.
Portion Size: This is the amount of food you choose to eat or snack.
Organoleptic Testing: This refers to the evaluation of the flavour, odour, appearance, taste, and mouthfeel (texture) of a food product. In simple terms, it is when we use our senses (e.g. sight, feel, smell,) to test if a food is still good or not.
Food Shelf life: This can also be called the life span of a food. It is the period in which the food can be stored, and it can still be fit for use. This is why every food produced has an expiry or best-before date to give consumers information on the shelf life.
Food Traceability: This is the ability to track the movement of food across the supply chain. It gives information on where the food is being produced, processed, and to the point where it is sold out. It is required for food safety and food security.
Best-before Date: This tells us about the quality of the food. The food is still safe to eat after the best-before dates which is usually for 90 days. The quality cannot be guaranteed, though, as the taste, color or flavor would have changed.
Use-by Date: This date signifies that the food should be eaten before that month stated in the date. The food is not safe to eat after that month. It is used mainly for foods that are perishable like dairy products, fresh meat, and fish.
Expiry Date: This date signifies that the food should be eaten within that month stated in the date. The food is not safe to eat after that month.
Food Label: This is a nutritional information usually in front of the packaging material of a food to give information to help the consumers make their choice.