Food Safety Challenges for Bakeries

Food Safety Challenges for Bakeries

When it comes to food safety challenges for bakeries the list is long and complicated. Safe Food Pro have come to the rescue with a list of the challenges and the perfect solution for them.

Several bakery products have been implicated in foodborne illnesses over the years involving food borne pathogens such as Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus cereus. The importance of implementing food safety protocols cannot be ignored and developing a system from the top down can be the difference between business as usual or full-scale investigation by regulatory bodies due to food complaints posed by the public.

Supply Chain

Food safety starts with the supply chain and works its way through the process of stock receival, storage, processing, cooking, cooling, packaging etc right up to the sale to the consumer. The challenges to an operator are many and the variables faced can be daunting. Getting expert advice can greatly assist in this process but let’s run through a few of the basics regarding the first step, stock receival:

Supplier validation – is your supplier accredited or HACCP certified, using such can ensure that you are covered in the event of a product recall or supplier issue, do you have measurable processes in place pertaining to rejection of stock and reporting and recording processes associated with this?

Receiving stock – Do you have in place systems to receive goods i.e. temperature checks, delivery vehicle check, packaging integrity checks etc? If not, you should consider the implications of not undertaking this, many food poisoning complaints have been traced back to poor stock receival practices.

It is imperative that operators identify food safety hazards and initiate suitable controls, ensuring that the risk of pathogen growth, toxin formation, cross contamination and other food safety issues due to poor food handling or storage is minimised as far as is practicable. Once this is undertaken, operators need to be able to verify that the systems and controls implemented are working, this is usually done through a series of record keeping processes such as temperature monitoring, time temperature control processes, cleaning and sanitisation recording, receiving and delivery reporting and the like.


Do you regularly monitor your storage areas, including dry store, cold storage, freezers and display cabinets to ensure safety of food items is maintained?  Monitoring is not just about temperatures but also cleanliness, storage protocols, labelling, pest control, allergen management and the like.

Generally, most bakery items have a low moisture content (water activity) meaning that they can be generally “low risk” regarding food safety and the growth of microorganisms. This enables safe storage at ambient temperatures. However, some items, like custard/cream-filled pastries, cheesecakes, pies, sausage rolls, and breads topped with cheese, bacon and fresh vegetables, need to be stored in either cold or hot storage environments to ensure they remain safe for consumption. These are considered higher risk items and validation of safe processing, handling and storage is required to discharge the manufacturer’s responsibility to provide safe food.

Processes and Procedures

Having in place a suitable food safety program makes your processes and procedures accessible and measurable. Ensuring that staff are trained in your procedures is the next logical step to effective implementation, providing staff with a simple to use system with follow the leader style functionality will mean that reporting becomes less burdensome. Digitising these protocols can also create a full accountability trail and make auditing a breeze.

Recording and Reporting

Being able to actively monitor each stage will create a sense of security for operators, ensuring that they can easily identify an issue and take appropriate action to minimise the risk to their products. Being able to oversee these processes easily and all in one place is the biggest challenge for any operator, forms go missing, staff don’t complete temperature checks when required, recording booklets and or forms become damaged and illegible and the storage of these can become problematic due to legislative timeframes required.

Keeping reporting and recording simple is key here, technological advances mean that some of these areas can be automated, why monitor cold and hot storage devices if you can use something to do it for you? Maintaining paperwork can be a pain, digitising current reporting forms can take away the pain of lost or illegible records and also means that you can obtain specific data with a few keystrokes. 

When considering food safety challenges for bakeries contact the team at Safe Food Pro for assistance and guidance on building a system that suits your business needs.

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