When it comes to running a perishable food business, or any food organization for that matter, safety is perhaps the most important aspect that needs to be addressed. If a food has been contaminated in any way, whether it’s throughout the manufacturing, delivery, or storing process, it can harm end consumers.
The FDA regulated $417 billion worth of domestic foods and another $49 billion worth of imported food — and it all needs to be safe to consume. Additionally, allergic reactions need to be avoided at all costs. While there are more than 160 foods that can cause allergic reactions in people with food allergies, the law identifies the eight most common allergenic foods: milk, eggs, soybeans, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, and fish. These foods account for 90% of food allergic reactions and are the food sources from which many other ingredients are derived.
According to Food Navigator, food is the number one cause of poor health in America and a leading driver in disability and death. It’s estimated that 700,000 deaths each year are related to food issues. Simply being careful, unfortunately, won’t cut it for the majority of perishable food businesses across the country — more needs to be done.
At the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s Science Forum, in partnership with the Healthier America Summit, Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean of the Friedman School at Tufts University, explained that by combining national demographic data, disease rates, and national eating habits, the majority of health issues are caused by consuming too much processed meat, red meat, sugary beverages, and too much salt, as well as not enough fruits and vegetables.
Looking at healthy food as necessary medications, rather than products that should be consumed, can actually help change the entire culture of food safety.
“We have trained our minds and humanity, basically, to think that by popping pills we can actually be healthy,” said Anjali Pati, who launched Kashaya Yogurt as a probiotic-rich therapeutic food after researching at the National University of Natural Medicine for Naturopathic Medicine and Global Health. “We are walking away from what we would call the ancient future, which is our ancient civilization used to live long, long lives because of their ability to use food as medicine.”
Though it falls on the individual to eat more fruits and vegetables, it’s essential for the food sector as a whole to focus more on safety and promoting healthier lifestyles. Through innovative food traceability software, direct store delivery software, and a stronger emphasis on food health, food organizations can slowly start helping individual customers eat and be much healthier.
If you want to learn more about protecting your perishable food business’s customers and ensuring that your food is not only properly accounted for but safe to consume, give Harvest Food Solutions a call today.