Sunday, September 27, 2009


Health status of personnel employed by the food industry has a bearing on the safety of the end products made by it. Infectious diseases pose a high degree of risk and the extent of microbial load on the personnel handling the food in the processing facilities can under cut the process adequacy and undermine the quality of the product manufactured. Under GMP regime sick employees are not allowed to attend to the work and medical examination is often made compulsory to certify their fitness to enter the processing environment.

There are many carriers of a particular disease causing microorganism but it is not necessary that they can pass on the infection to food if they are allowed to handle the same, unless such infections can cause problem in the oral and gastrointestinal route. Hepatitis Virus B (HBV) is supposed to be transmitted through sexual contacts and hence HBV carriers are not considered a risk if employed by the food industry. According to reports coming from China " the Nanjing government officials planned to set up the city's own regulations for people working in the food industry in accordance with the central government's latest revision toward HBV carriers in July. Earlier, China issued the Food Safety Law revision, which lifted the ban on HBV carriers working in the food sector. This marks a further step by the provincial government to implement the new food regulations and grant HBV carriers a fair chance for employment in food industry".

Though persons with certain infections may not pass on the pathogens to food or even if the food is contaminated by these pathogens, their infectious potential is considered practically nil. But the problem arises for the co-workers who may be reluctant to work with such carrier persons, though the infection is not passed to others under normal circumstances. HBV is one such infection and therefore the Chinese decision is considered reasonably safe and truly progressive.


No comments: