Competition, constraints and choices mean that the consequence of food control failure can be commercially and socially unacceptable. Three of the variables used by customers to select products in a retail environment are apparent quality, brand reputation and price. Freedom from bad flavours, foreign matter and harmful micro-organisms is a natural consumer expectation. Retail competition brings commercial demands which are often satisfied by exploiting economies of scale. Process plant for mass production is only as good as the standard of design, construction and operation. Sources of contamination may include contact with dirty surfaces, falling overhead matter, leaks, equipment corrosion, poor hygiene, poor design and poor management. Whether a large or small scale food production or catering outlet, the principles of audit are basically the same. Prior preparation by reading industry codes of practice is recommended to enable the auditor to gain familiarity with specific practices and equipment terminology. However, in an ideal situation, an auditor with industrial experience relevant to the outlet concerned would be used.
KeywordsPreventative Maintenance Process Equipment Foreign Matter Food Contact Retail Competition
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