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HACCP Glossary

Single celled organisms found all around us, they can survive under many conditions including freezing.

A substance which destroys bacteria.

Best before date:
Date mark required on longer life foods that are not subjected to microbiological spoilage if kept in the correct storage conditions

A person who harbours, and may transmit, pathogenic bacteria without showing signs of illness.

Food is contaminated if it contains something which should not be there, e.g. a stone, chemicals or bacteria.

Core temperature:
The temperature at the centre of the food

Clean as you go:
The routine of cleaning up as you work, not leaving all the cleaning to do at the end.
Critical Control Point: A point, step, procedure where control can be exercised/applied to a hazard and the hazard eliminated, prevented or reduced to an acceptable level.

Danger Zone of Bacterial Growth:
The temperature range between +5oC and +63oC in which bacteria will grow and multiply easily and rapidly.

A chemical which dissolves grease, it acts as an aid in cleaning.

A chemical which reduces the level of bacteria to a safe level.

When bacteria on food are not multiplying; the temperature is either too hot or too cold to allow growth. The bacteria are still alive and will start to grow if the temperature comes back into the danger zone.

Includes: (a) any substance used, available to be used or intended to be used, for food or drink by human persons, and (b) any substance which enters into or is used in the production, composition or preparation of these substances, and references to a particular food or class of food. (S.I No.29 of 1998)

Food handler:
Any person who handles or prepares food whether open (unwrapped) or packaged, even if physical contact is only a small part of their work.

Food hygiene:
All measures necessary to ensure the safety and wholesomeness of food during preparation, processing, manufacture, storage, transportation, distribution, handling and offering for sale or supply to the consumer.

Food Pests:
Rodents and insects which live on and in our food.

Food Poisoning:
A notifiable illness, usually with symptoms of diarrhea and/or vomiting caused by eating food which has been contaminated or which is poisonous. Food poisoning is infectious and can be passed on by person to person as well as through food.

Food Premises:
Areas where food is stored, transported, prepared, displayed or sold.

Food Spoilage Bacteria:
Bacteria which cause food to rot or decay.

An inflammation of the stomach and intestinal tract that normally results in diarrhea.

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points. A management system for ensuring food safety through the identification, assessment and control of hazards in the food chain.

Anything that could contaminate food or cause harm to the consumer.

High-risk activity:
Activities where high-risk ready-to-eat foods are prepared and where the potential exists to put vulnerable groups (infants, the frail elderly, pregnant women and the sick) or large numbers of consumers at serious risk. Such foods are as follows:
-shellfish, cooked or raw
-fish, cooked or raw
-raw meat such as beef tartar
-cooked meat and meat products
-cooked poultry and poultry products
-cooked-chill and cooked freeze meals
-milk and milk products
-egg and egg products
-cooked rice and cooked pasta
-foods containing any of these examples as ingredients.

High risk food:
Food which supports the growth of harmful and potentially harmful microorganisms and which will not be subjected to any further heat treatment or processing which would remove or destroy such microorganisms, prior to consumption. Ready-to-eat foods are high-risk foods.

Infective dose:
The number of bacteria required to cause illness.

Low-risk activity:
Activity where the potential to cause harm to consumers is low.

Non-food handler:
A person involved in a food business whose duties and responsibilities can impinge on food safety, e.g. managers, maintenance staff, cleaning staff.

Pathogenic bacteria:
Bacteria which cause disease/illness.

Potable water:
Water fit for human consumption taken directly from rising mains and in compliance with E.C. Water Directive.

Part of temperature measuring equipment that can be inserted between packs or into product to obtain temperature reading.

Ready to eat foods:
Foods that have already gone through most or all of their preparation steps. There will be a "high-risk" if these are contaminated or allowed to deteriorate because there are no further preparation steps to control the hazard, e.g. cooked meat and poultry, pates, meat pies, cooked meat products (e.g. gravy or stock), milk, cream, custards and dairy produce, shellfish and other seafood (cooked or intended to be eaten raw), cooked rice, cooked eggs and products made with eggs, prepared salads, fruit and vegetables, soft cheeses, etc.

The probability of a hazard occurring.

A chemical used to both clean equipment and reduce bacteria to a safe level.

A resistant resting-phase of bacteria, which protects them against adverse conditions.

Date mark required on highly microbiologically perishable pre-packed foods. It is an offence to sell food after its "use-by" date.

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