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Food safety in the Baking Industry

Food safety in the Baking Industry: be alert, be aware




BakerSA looks at food safety for bakeries and what can be done to enhance an understanding of best practice guidelines.

Whether producing a multitude of baked product lines in a retail bakery or bread in a plant bakery, it is no easy task to uphold hygiene and food safety. It is a continuous process that requires know-how, awareness, dedication and perseverance, and it is a process that involves decision makers as well as those who carry out orders.

Operating in the baking industry does not stop at having a knowledge of baked goods and maintaining hygienic conditions and food safety; operators also have to comply with a string of Acts and Regulations that apply to the baking industry.

There are regulations relating to the fortification of wheat flour; preservatives and antioxidants; colourants; bread additives; emulsifiers, thickeners and stabilisers; baking powder and chemical leavening substances; and the list goes on.

Having to act in accordance with all of these rules may seem overwhelming, especially for new entrants to the baking industry, but, armed with information on the regulations, which are available from the South African Chamber of Baking (SACB), and backed by one of the many food safety and hygiene training companies in South Africa, the task becomes much easier.

Effective hygiene and sanitation guidelines

The most important aspects of an effective hygiene and sanitation programme are: identifying best practices for cleaning tasks; training food handling and sanitation staff to adhere to the best practice; inspecting all areas of the bakery/plant on at least a monthly basis to identify risks and to take corrective actions; and keeping an up-to-date master sanitation schedule that traces cleaning tasks and establishes frequency.

Other important priorities are planning for new plant equipment that incorporate hygienic design principles and effecting improved cleaning methods for existing equipment.

The baker’s food safety issues

Bakers’ food safety concerns take in allergen control; shelf-stability for both ingredients that go into the product in-the-making as well as finished products; sanitation processes applicable to baked goods in addition to staff; and pest defence strategies, to name but a few. If these aren’t well defined and constantly abided by, the business and its brands will be at risk.

Ingredient handling

Bakery products with lower water activity, such as breads, are less at risk for compromised shelf life, however, those that have high water activity, such as pumpkin pie, or products with dairy ingredients like cheese, can be problematic if they are not handled properly.

Packaging materials

Special care must be taken when handling ingredient packaging materials. When cutting ingredient bags, for example, loose pieces must be avoided or immediately and safely discarded so as to not come in contact with foodstuffs.

Care must also be taken with wooden pallets to ensure that neither the pallet nor the product packaged on it is damaged during transport.


All machinery, including their parts, such as conveyors, must be frequently inspected to detect wear and cracks.


In this age where food safety is constantly put under the consumer’s magnifying glass, bakers must be alert to Critical Control Points (CCPs) and ensure protective measures such as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).

GMPs must embrace cleaning and sanitation practices that incorporate the following CCPs:

• allergen residues – removal from equipment and the food production environment;
• metal detection;
• use of colour-coded equipment;
• traceability of production ingredients;
• cleaning between batches;
• sterilisation of surfaces and equipment;
• temperature control during manufacturing, packaging and distribution; and
• training of food handlers and cleaning staff.

Personal hygiene

Good personal hygiene practices aimed at preventing product contamination and the prospect of a contaminated product reaching the consumer form the basis for food safety and quality assurance in food manufacturing facilities.

A comprehensive personal hygiene programme with a top-down approach that also extends to visitors are key to implementing best practices for compliance with GMPs, Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs) and food safety audits.

People are most certainly the biggest sources of cross-contamination in a bakery shop or plant, followed by the tools and equipment they carry and use.

Since there is a wide range of activities and movement that can result in the transfer of microorganisms, chemical contaminants or foreign objects from plant personnel to each other or food products, everyone in the food production environment must be aware that anything that is portable in the facility is a potential source of adulteration.

Companies in South Africa suppling Food Safety Equipment, Testing, Auditing and Training –

LTL Group and Associates – LTL Group of Companies has specialised in the field of Food Safety , Health and safety for the past 26 years. We are operational in South Africa as well as neighbouring African countries
We are operational 24/7/365 to assist you

LTL inspection services: Provide Audits to the Retail and Food Service as well as Food and packaging manufacturing Industries based on Food safety, Quality Assurance, Health and Safety, Environmental requirements


LTL has been conducting Training courses in all industries from Food manufacturing, Abattoirs, Packaging, Hospitality Industry (Hotel/Restaurant) as well as General Industries with regard to Hygiene, HACCP and ISO courses.

Accredited courses via Seta and SAATCA is available and we can accommodate online/on-site or hybrid training and all training can be customized to your requirements.

MLS National Laboratories

MLS has 3 accredited sites. Johannesburg is SANAS accredited, Cape Town is Internationally accredited by A2LA and KZN laboratory is accredited by SANAS. We are also approved by DALLRD

We have highly qualified and experienced scientists and laboratory analysts and can assist you with a full range of Microbiological and Chemical analyses that will suite your requirements.

We cover all Food related industries and can do analysis ranging from raw materials to finish products, nutritional analysis, water analysis, complaint investigations or comparison analysis
Technical advise is available when required

Bruker – Safeguard Quality and Safety from Field to Fork

The globalized food supply chain poses serious challenges to producers, brands, consumers, and governments. An ever-intensifying worldwide competition, a growing number of contaminants and a strong demand for food quality control are constantly increasing the number of stringent regulations.

At Bruker, we use our analytical knowledge to safeguard the quality and safety of food & beverages, animal feed and agricultural products throughout the whole supply chain − from product development and production up to quality control and incoming inspections. We offer mobile, lab-based, and on-line systems to reliably identify and quantify agents, substances, and trace elements.


Food Safety

Bruker’s analytical solutions help to make food safer by enabling an easier and faster detection of contaminants and undesired material in food ingredients and finished products.

MiChem Dynamics (Pty) Ltd – In 2014 MiChem Dynamics (Pty) Ltd was established by Santie van Niekerk and Vinay Moodley, being dynamic and goal driven entrepreneurs. As qualified microbiologists, auditors and management system experts the primary focus was to be the link between the laboratory and manufacturing industry by means of interpretation of results, root-cause analysis an implementing corrective actions.

Additional services were introduced shortly afterwards, which include training, consulting, auditing and recruitment, making MiChem Dynamics (Pty) Ltd a comprehensive provider of all services in the laboratory, food and beverage manufacturing, inspection, health and safety industries.

MiChem Dynamics (Pty) Ltd offers a comprehensive:

 Food Safety consulting, internal auditing and FoodBev SETA accredited training services related to the compliance of BRC, FSSC 22000, ISO 22000, SANS 10330, SANS 10049, GFSI, FSA, South Africa Regulation 638 of 2018 and ISO 9001.

 Laboratory consulting, internal auditing and CHIETA SETA accredited training services, (also registered as a CPD Training Service Provider with the HPCSA and SACNASP) ensuring compliance to ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO 15189 in combination with additional accreditation requirements.

 Inspection body consulting, internal auditing and training services ensuring compliance to ISO/IEC 17020 in combination with additional accreditation requirements.

DQS – DQS Academy offers a range of ISO 22000 Food Safety training courses designed to help you and your organisation achieve one of the most widely recognised food management systems.

Based on the same customer focused service excellence approach that we operate within our certification division, DQS Academy is an accredited training provider that offers training to suit a variety of needs in a range of ISO standards.

Choose from a range of short courses at varying competencies in Safety, Health, Environment and Quality as related to ISO 45001, ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 as essentials for a business, SHE and Environmental management to other short courses facilitated at a professional level related to ISO standards in IT Risk, Risk Management, Business Continuity Management, Food Safety and Energy Management, as well as other key business sector standards.

We’re coming to the end of another year but there’s still time for you to catch-up either as an individual or an organisation with ISO training. Our seasoned and experienced trainers will provide you with value added tuition across a range of business focused ISO standards preparing you at either at an introductory overview, implementation or internal audit level of competence to be able to usefully apply an ISO standard within your business operation.

Entecom – For over fifteen years, Entecom has been assisting businesses with Food Safety and Quality System certification through our consulting support services as well as equipping staff with the necessary skills to implement, maintain effective Food Safety and Quality Management Systems.

We are a dedicated team, committed to improving Food Safety and quality standards and help companies do things smarter. We believe that businesses in the food and beverage industry who prepare and handle food in a safer way will produce safer food, and by adopting streamlined, integrated processes using paperless software solutions, will also be smarter businesses – Safer Food, Smarter Business.

With better systems and more Food Safety know-how you can make food safer by doing things smarter.
We help food companies like you, manage your Food Safety and quality systems better so that you can trade with confidence.

ASSURECLOUD – Established in 1999 as Africon, Assurecloud is Southern Africa’s largest and most comprehensive food safety, environmental, and veterinary laboratory group. Our goal is to prevent illness caused by food safety issues by identifying and monitoring risks that may cause disease or other workplace or food-related risk.

Through the strategic acquisition of innovative companies such as Deltamune Laboratories, and SAI Global Africa Assurance (QPRO and SAIGAS), Assurecloud is a global leader in Food Safety.

Why choose Assurecloud as your Food Safety partner?

Farm to Fork Assurance Assurecloud has the expertise, tools, and accreditation to enhance food safety at every point of the value chain, from the manufacturing of animal feed, to agricultural best practices, transport and storage. We track how food is handled and stored at the manufacturer and retailer, how it is prepared in a hospitality or catering environment, and provide testing services for allergens, bacteria, and quality compliance.

Peace of mind for over 20 years, leading local and global organisations have trusted Assurecloud to handle their food safety testing and training needs. We guarantee confidentiality, impartiality, competency, and responsibility.



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