Personnel Practices | American Society of Baking
Food Safety:

Personnel Practices

What are personnel practices?

Personnel practices are a set of conditions and measures followed by employees (especially front line production personnel) to prevent contamination to food products.1

Personnel are a key element in a food facility. They work with sensitive materials: bulk dry and liquid ingredients, food equipment, utensils, and food contact surfaces, etc. Given their normal activities, they may represent a potential source of microbiological, chemical, and physical contamination to the products if proper food safety procedures and practices are not followed.1

The following sections are the most important concerns regarding food contamination due to poor personnel practices.

Personnel practices are a set of conditions and measures followed to prevent contamination to food products.
Related Links:

Biological contamination

Physical contamination

Regulatory compliance

Personnel practices are thoroughly addressed in 21 CFR Part 117.10 (Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk–based Preventive Controls for Human Food). Under this rule, requirements have been established for personnel, and the management of the food processing establishment must take reasonable measures and precautions to ensure disease control and cleanliness.4

Application

As a responsible and regulation-compliant entity, a food company must document and implement appropriate personnel practices to minimize the risk of product contamination.

Such risk can be managed by implementing and adhering to a personnel practices program. This program establishes a set of standards and procedures of minimum hygiene that people must observe in order to ensure that they do not become sources of product contamination.

Components of a personnel practices program1

Procedures and policies related to the following issues, where relevant, should be in place:

  1. Employee health (illness) control
  2. Hand-washing and hand-sanitizing
  3. Cleanliness of uniforms/outer garments
  4. Hair restraint (hair nets, headbands, caps, beard covers, etc.)
  5. Use of gloves (if needed)
  6. Unsecured jewelry
  7. Personal items (segregation and storage of personal belongings)
  8. Food, drink, and tobacco use
  9. Cosmetics restrictions (skin lotions, nail polish, perfumes, makeup, etc.)

References

  1.  AIB International. “Food Safety and Sanitation.” Food Safety and Sanitation Distance Learning Course, Chapter 2.
  2.  United Kingdom Food Standards Agency. “Food Handlers: Fitness to Work – Regulatory Guidance and Best Practice Advice for Food Business Operators.”, 2009, https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/multimedia/pdfs/publication/fitnesstoworkguide09v3.pdf
  3.  U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Compliance Policy Guide – Section 555.425, Update No. 12.”  Division of Compliance Policy/Office of Enforcement, 23 March 1999, https://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/98fr/990463gd.pdf
  4.  U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “21 CFR 117.10 – Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, And Risk–based Preventive Controls For Human Food.” 1 Apr, 2017, https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=117.10