Food plays a vital role in determining the health and nutritional status of an individual. In fact, it also impacts the overall development and productivity of the population in a country. The significance of food and its quality has increased even more in the last few years. The focus has shifted toward food safety. Therefore, a consolidated approach is critical. The food consumed by people must be wholesome and safe in every aspect. Unsafe food can generate life threats. It can lead to foodborne diseases as well and infect the community.
- The growing importance – In the last few years, awareness regarding food safety and quality has increased rapidly. People have started questioning the food. What do they consume? How do they consume? What is the source of the food? All these are significant questions that need accurate answers. Especially the impact of the coronavirus pandemic made people realize the significance of healthy eating. Clean eating is the new trend, and the focus has pivoted toward food quality and safety as a consolidated benchmark.
- Organic is the way to be – Clean eating and high-quality food require a systematic approach. Organic cultivation with transparently operating supply chains has become the talk of the nation! More people are investing in obtaining edibles direct from the farm. The shift in preferences and the importance of organic farming has facilitated the farm-to-fork model. The new-age concept of farm-to-fork and farm-to-table refers to the direct supply chain with enhanced food quality.
Understanding Farm to fork concept
The world population is rising swiftly, and ensuring a sustainable food supply chain is no less than a challenge. Especially for countries like India, it is a critical concern. Food production necessitates careful management to guarantee optimal quality and safety. Food security does not only refer to germ-free food. It must assure nutritional value to the consumer. This is where the role of farmers or food producers becomes critical to the consumers. The trend of eating clean and healthy has highlighted the role of the producers to the next level. Even in urban areas, the popularity of organic products is growing. The supply chain has become short, and people are demanding direct supply from the farm to their tables. It eliminates the preservation steps and retains the quality.
Even before a few years, many people were unbothered about how the food was prepared or its source. The pandemic impact and growing awareness have altered the scenario. Most people are looking for supply solutions that assure –
- Food quality
- Food safety
- Organic cultivation and environmental friendliness
- Balanced use of chemicals
The “Farm to Fork” concept refers to a system that exhibits the source. It eliminates the intermediate steps, and people get the food directly from the farm where it was cultivated. The farm-to-table or fork model delivers a lucid overview of edible products and their source. The absence of vendors and large-scale distributors makes the farm-to-fork model convenient in more than one way. It also exhibits the status of the farms and the hard work of the cultivators.
About food safety impacts – An overview
- The reports published by World Health Organization are alarming. It states that at least 600 million people all over the globe become ill with foodborne diseases. It is an after-effect of consuming substandard food. In fact, a huge percentage of these people die from diseases. It also affects the economy and generates productivity loss. So, you can understand the problem is critical and goes beyond a medical hazard. The impact is global and needs a robust solution. This is where food safety concerns grow significantly.
- Most food safety issues are provoked by pathogenic microorganisms. Mostly it is foodborne bacteria. It can cause deadly health impacts like food poisoning and food intoxication. The different foodborne illnesses include – watery diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and acute and long-term diseases in the gut. The consequences of critical food safety issues are problematic for food business owners and consumers in multiple ways.
- In fact, daily-consumption foods can also get contaminated easily by high-risk ingredients. It could be any perishable food such as eggs, raw meat or deli meats, poultry, fresh fruits, salads, semi-cooked seafood, raw sprouts, ground meat, raw dairy products, etc. These can get contaminated through intestinal pathogens like bacteria. It can create massive health hazards if the preventive measures are not robust.
Importance of food quality and safety
- Food safety holds a significant position in the maintenance of the food chain of production, processing, and supply. It is not a one-step process. In fact, the entire production line needs careful safety management and in-depth checking.
- With time, food businesses have recognized the need to implement food safety management systems. It is vital to safeguard the health of consumers and prevent the chances of spreading and generating any foodborne disease. Food safety contributes to food security as well.
- Food safety practices can facilitate the detection of shortcomings in the supply and production chain. In fact, the ideal food quality and safety check measures can control and mitigate the risks. In the long run, it contributes positively to economic prosperity and sustainable development of the growing population.
- Consistency is another benefit of ensuring the ideal practices for food safety. By facilitating the process of delivering safe food for consumption, the food chain gains consistency in quality management.
Food safety and the concept of farm to fork
The concept of farm-to-fork or farm-to-table amplifies awareness and boosts food safety in the food industry. The simplistic model for enhanced food supply helps in delivering high-quality raw food to the consumer’s table. This way, the standard safety measures get easy to implement. How? The absence of vendors and intermediate handlers makes it ideal to mitigate food safety risks. The goal of food safety is to develop a sustainable solution for a secure and high-quality food supply.
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