Good Practices are rules in food production that help prevent contamination. Food handling is a constant process in bakeries and pastry shops. In the preparation stages, during transport and storage, and even in the sales operation, there are several actions involving inputs which may generate several problems if the proper care is not taken.

These interferences have the potential to affect the quality of products and the company’s environment, compromising the health of consumers, employees and everyone who circulates in the store’s environment. To ensure proper compliance with sanitary safety standards and the hygienic quality of the companies, there are Hygienic-Sanitary Practices.

The National Health Surveillance Agency defines these rules. Ordinance No. 326 refers to the food industries, while Resolution No. 216 covers food services. The major items, considered critical for production, are called SOPs, or Standard Operating Procedures.

In bakery, in particular, food handling has different characteristics from other food industries, which make it difficult to apply hygienic and sanitary practices. The biggest problem in meeting the requirements is the lack of knowledge and training of the employees. Disinformation about its importance and method of operation has great relevance and impact and the high turnover of facilities aggravates this.

The good practices manual is the document that holds all this information. It describes in detail how your company works: what it sells, its location, its objectives, the receiving of goods, storage, pre-preparing, preparing, what the physical facilities are like, personal hygiene and health management of employees, and all other details involving Good Manufacturing Practices. The Manual is considered the foundation of everything when we talk about food safety.

Also, remember that it is very important to control this information and record it. It is not enough to just write; it is necessary to put it into practice. This verification, then, occurs through measurements, sensory evaluations, laboratory analysis, checklists, etc.

Each Good Practices Manual is unique, but all topics within the legislation must be described in the document or at least referenced. You can use mandatory SOPs as a guide, but you do not need to be restricted to them.

Some points of attention to ensure the full functioning of hygienic-sanitary practices

  • The production process flow must not allow the crossing of raw materials from the reception/storage areas with those from the clean areas (preparation/assembly). This prevents raw materials from posing a risk of contamination to ready-to-eat foods (cross-contamination).
  • Floors, walls, rooms, and ceilings must be of smooth, waterproof material so that they can withstand repeated washing. It is also important that they present light colors and are kept intact, preserved, free from cracks, leaks, infiltrations, peeling, among others, and must not transmit contaminants to the food.
  • The ventilation system must not allow air to circulate from a contaminated area to a clean area and, when necessary, must be subjected to adequate maintenance and cleaning. The airflow must not have direct contact with the food.
  • Changing rooms and toilets must not have direct access to food handling and storage areas. They must be kept organized and in an adequate state of conservation and functioning. External doors must have automatic closing.
  • Avoid wasting water.
  • Washbasins for hand hygiene must be installed at the entrance and at strategic places in the production areas, in order to serve the entire preparation area.
  • The facilities must adopt a set of effective and continuous actions to control vectors and urban pests, with the aim of preventing attraction, shelter, access and/or their proliferation.
  • Remove garbage from food handling areas daily or as often as necessary so that it does not attract pests and other animals.
  • Taking care of hygiene and appearance is very important. Therefore, some habits should be part of the handler’s or collaborator’s routine: taking a shower daily and drying with a clean towel; perform oral hygiene after meals; keep nails short, clean, and without nail polish or base coat, among others.

Source: Guidelines for Good Practices in Bakery and Confectionery – from Production to the 

Point of Sale – ABIP/ITPC/SEBRAE agreement

The  Good Practices in Bakery and Confectionery Manual is an extensive document, but very important to avoid the dangers in handling and to improve the quality of food. The Guidelines contemplate every detail so that everything happens in the right way and, with all this information in hand, if something goes unplanned, the team will be ready to correct it.

It is important that a trained nutrition professional write this, considering the legislation and limitations of the facility. By complying with this document, any facility can improve the quality of its product, retain customers, increase productivity and, consequently, profits.

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