Implementation of hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) system in a food service unit serving immuno-suppressed patient diets / E.E. Vermeulen
Vermeulen, Emma Emmerenza
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Main aim: To supply recommendations to implement a Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) system in a hospital food service unit serving low bacterial diets in order to prevent or decrease the infection rates in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) patients. Objectives: Firstly, to investigate the current food safety and hygiene status in a hospital food service unit, serving low bacterial diets, by means of a questionnaire and bacterial swabs taken from the food service unit. Secondly, to utilize the gathered information in a structured action plan to implement HACCP standards successfully in the appointed food service unit. The implementation of HACCP will not be done by the author. Design: The primary research was done in a food service unit of a 350 bed private hospital. One unsuspected audit with a pre-designed audit form was done. The audit consisted out of ten categories. A percentage was allocated to each category. Four swabs, as well as four food samples, were taken during the audit. The swabs and samples were tested to assess the microbiological safety of the foods prepared in the appointed hospital food service unit. The results of the audit, swabs and food samples were used to evaluate the current Food and Safety System of the hospital food service unit according to internationally approved HACCP standards. Setting: The study was conducted in the metropolitan area of Gauteng, South Africa. Results: None of the ten areas audited was of an acceptable standard and an average of 37% was scored. Category 5, the service and distribution area, scored the highest (69%) and category 10, the quality procedures and records division, scored the lowest (6%). According to United States Food and Drug Administration Baseline Report five forbidden policies could lead to increased risk of food borne illnesses. All five forbidden policies were detected in the food service unit during the audit. The microbiological tests showed relatively high microbial counts. Conclusion: The results of the study confirmed that instead of focusing mainly on the selection of food items allowed, and the cooking methods used in HSCT diets, the type of food service, together with the food and safety protocol that the food service follows, could play an important role in providing food that is safe for HSCT patient use.
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