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Quality control measures for ministryof health in a bakery

Consumers and buyers are becoming more aware of the importance of safe, high quality products. Large companies that can afford advertising space on the radio, television or in the press emphasise the quality of their goods, often in a very subtle way.

This quality image is given by stating for example "our foods are made only from high quality ingredients. Producers who sell intermediate products, such as dried fruits, to a secondary processor will find that the buyer expects the foods to meet an agreed standard.

In the case of exporters, these standards are becoming more and more strict. In order to improve and control product quality it is essential to fully understand the meaning of the term quality. A common definition is "achieving agreed customer expectations or specifications". In other words, the customer defines the quality criteria needed in a product. To meet this standard the manufacturer puts in a Quality Control System to ensure that the product meets these criteria on a routine basis.

Quality control or quality assurance The following examples using baked goods illustrate the difference between quality control and quality assurance.

A customer may specify that bread should be white, with a good loaf volume and pleasant flavour and taste. The manufacturer then needs to focus on the process to ensure that the raw materials are consistently handled to produce uniform white loaves with the expected volume and taste.

Controlling quality may be achieved by: Inspection of raw materials to ensure that no poor quality ingredients are used. Carrying out checks on the process to ensure that the weights of the ingredients and temperature and time of baking are correct.

Inspecting the final product to ensure that no poor quality loaves are sent to the consumer. However, this Quality Control approach is focused on the process whereas the problems that customers may face can also occur elsewhere in the production and distribution chain.

The following examples highlight the shortcomings of a simple quality control approach. Many of the loaves are contaminated with pieces of wood. The distribution system involves transporting the loaves on wooden trays to retail stores where the loaves are packaged and then sold to customers. The wooden trays are not part of the quality control system because they are used after the product has left the bakery.

A particular customer has asked for loaves of a different size and colour but these do not arrive as requested.

What Quality Controls do You Have in Your Bakery?

The sales staff have no formal procedure for informing the production staff about changes in this customer's specification. The problem has occurred because of missing links in quality management in the bakery. Bread has been returned because of a bad flavour and some customers have complained that they have been made ill. The flour has been stored next to quality control measures for ministryof health in a bakery chemicals in the dry goods store. One old unlabelled chemical container has been found to have leaked.

The company have no documented rules for the storage and handling of chemicals. The staff who routinely clean the store are not trained and receive lower wages than other members of the production team. The container is old and unlabelled Fig. Hazardous storage of chemicals In order to overcome the types of problems outlined above, a wider approach than quality control is required.

This is termed Total Quality Assurance. Quality Assurance systems take a much wider view of what is involved in satisfying customers' needs.

The quality assurance system focuses on the prevention of problems and not simply on their cure. Curing problems is expensive and quality cannot be 'inspected into' a product. A quality assurance approach therefore, includes the whole production and distribution system, from the suppliers of important raw materials, through the internal business management to the customer.

Quality assurance systems should be documented in a simple way to show who has responsibility for doing what and when. The focus of quality assurance is prevention and this should mean that action is taken to meet a specification and prevent failures from occurring a second time.

This is done by planning, management action, agreements with key suppliers and other people in the distribution chain. Quality assurance can only be operated when staff are well trained and motivated. Workers are normally well aware of the causes of most problems and when quality assurance is used properly they can resolve most quality problems within their control.

It is the responsibility of business owners to ensure that the quality assurance system, together with any necessary equipment and information, are available to the workers to allow them to exercise this control.

The importance of people in quality assurance is represented in Fig. Good staff are important in quality assurance It is important to recognise that any system is operated by people.

It is people who manufacture a food product and ensure that it has the right quality. People working together ensure that the information, materials and equipment are all correct to allow the production of a product. People also store the product and deliver it on time.

All therefore need the necessary training and skills to complete their tasks correctly. They need to know what their own responsibilities are in this quality chain and where they fit into the overall system. Business owners must not regard communication as a one-way process.

The information they send to workers must also be modified by feedback from the staff. Well trained and informed staff are an essential element of the Quality Assurance approach.

  1. However larger manufacturers and producer groups who export to industrialised countries are increasingly finding that HACCP is not a matter of choice but is demanded by the importing company. This is based on quality control, microbiology and risk management and it has been adopted throughout the world, although some countries have tailored the approach to the needs of their particular food sectors.
  2. Coli Infections Linked to Flour. To implement such an analysis it is necessary to first decide whether the work will focus on improvements to product quality or improvements to the safety of foods.
  3. However, in many developing countries the mechanisms and habit of reporting faults to a producer do not exist and many manufacturers have little knowledge of customers' reactions to their products. Bread has been returned because of a bad flavour and some customers have complained that they have been made ill.

The other main element of the quality assurance approach which ensures that the system works is to document in a simple way the procedures and responsibilities within a team of workers. Consider the problems faced by the bakery described previously: Problem 1 The use of wooden trays This problem was related to the use of trays by the distributor. Who was responsible for arranging the contract with the distributor and specifying the quality control measures for ministryof health in a bakery of wooden trays?

A quality assurance system ensures that this link in the chain is discussed by the manager and staff and that proper controls and arrangements with the distributor are put into place for example, plastic sheets on the wooden trays. The producer needs to use the complaint information to modify the process and prevent the complaint occurring again. The types of complaints should be recorded, sources of the problem identified within the factory or supply chain and control measures put into place.

Problem 2 The customer requiring special bread The internal business communication broke down and important information did not reach the production staff. A quality assurance system ensures that this communication is constantly operating and being improved. Responsibility and authority are defined and written down. Problem 3 Tainted bread causing sickness The management had not identified and controlled the potential hazard that improper handling and storage of chemicals can cause.

The effective creation of a quality assurance system should include an assessment and development of methods to control or prevent hazards. Quality Assurance systems are not mysterious and need not be complex. They simply require the business to agree what are the customers' needs and then ensure that staff have the skills, materials, and information needed to deliver the promises that are made. A quality assurance system should not be static but it should be continually modified and refined.

This requires an investment in training people to ensure that the quality assurance system controls the essential steps in the whole manufacturing and distribution process to satisfy customer needs. A range of problem solving techniques can be provided for process workers to use when trouble arises during production. These simple techniques are tried and tested. They involve problem identification, analysis of the cause, suggestions for solutions and implementation and feedback methods.

These techniques allow the operators more control over their work and allow problems to be prevented rather than solved. More advanced statistically-based methods can be used for sampling plans and process optimisation but these are beyond the scope of this book.

One of the main building blocks used for developing a quality assurance system is the 'Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point' system which is described in the next section. Safety is not an option but it is an essential part of the planning, preparation and production of foods.

Any lack of consideration of safety can result in a serious threat to public health. This is recognised by the law in most countries and serious penalties exist for those who contravene hygiene and food safety legislation. At present in many countries, enforcement staff are not always sufficiently resourced to be fully effective, but this situation is changing as consumers become more concerned about food safety. This is based on quality control, microbiology and risk management and it has been adopted throughout the world, although some countries have tailored the approach to the needs of their particular food sectors.

Many small producers may consider that the development of HACCP systems is not feasible or appropriate to their current needs.

However larger manufacturers and producer groups who export to industrialised countries are increasingly finding that HACCP is not a matter of choice but is demanded by the importing company.

For this reason a brief description of the application of HACCP is included in this book and examples are given using a number of commodity groups. This Chapter examines the basic principles and practical methods for implementing the HACCP approach that are adopted to analyse a process and identify where improvements are needed in safety or quality.

Daily testing

An understanding of problems of food safety and quality quality control measures for ministryof health in a bakery can start in one of a number of different ways. It can begin for example with an analysis of customer complaints to identify their types and frequency. However, in many developing countries the mechanisms and habit of reporting faults to a producer do not exist and many manufacturers have little knowledge of customers' reactions to their products.

An alternative approach is for the processor to carefully examine every stage in a process to see where and how improvements can be made in the quality and safety of the finished products.

The aim of such an exercise is to focus the attention of operators and the manager on the prevention of problems rather than cures, by identifying potential hazards or quality failures and then developing preventative measures for their control.

To implement such an analysis it is necessary to first decide whether the work will focus on improvements to product quality or improvements to the safety of foods. These are obviously connected as food safety is one aspect of quality, but they should be treated as separate exercises. The level of risks is then assessed and procedures are implemented to monitor and control these risks. If analysis of safety is selected, it is necessary to identify the hazards in a process.

This is especially true for high-risk foods those that can support the growth of food poisoning micro-organisms. If high-risk foods are involved then the severity of the hazard is greater and these food products must be investigated thoroughly as very stringent controls are needed. It is for this reason that inexperienced producers should not be encouraged to make high-risk foods such as canned meats and fish.

If quality improvement is selected, it is necessary to identify where a loss in quality is likely to occur in the raw materials or the process and then find methods to control the procedures that are used in order to improve quality in the finished product.

Most small-scale processors do not have the necessary skills or time to conduct such a study, and it is likely that assistance will be needed from other people who have the necessary experience. Ideally a small team of people should be assembled to effectively analyse the process and then develop and implement the improvements for the selected product.

  • A quality assurance system ensures that this communication is constantly operating and being improved;
  • The sales staff have no formal procedure for informing the production staff about changes in this customer's specification;
  • Here are our top tips for bakery quality and safety:

Those selected should have appropriate expertise of the product, the processing operations, microbiology and quality control.