Informality in food production in Colombia

Food security is an issue that can, and should, be approached from many perspectives, and from safety, which is of great importance because in it the invasive aspect to the human body that acquire food to be consumed is recognized.

The food safety is a premise of Food Security can be no food security if food is not sufficient, affordable, nutritious and of course, safe, something that is not met supersedes any previous floor consideration. In common terms, a safe digital kitchen food scale is one that does not cause any discomfort to those who consume it, call to that discomfort mild or severe problem, transient discomfort or illness, you may end up in the worst cases, death consumer. The dangers involving no food safety can be summarized as physical, chemical and biological. A stranger in a food, of sufficient size and hard consistency agent, can cause broken a tooth, or even suffocation and death. Overdose of an additive or contamination of a food with an undesirable chemical agent are typical examples of chemical hazards that may occur in food.From the biological point of view, the dangers to which is subject food are many. The microorganisms compete with us, humans and animals, foods, these substrates are desired by a lot of those who used to live and prosper. Some of these microorganisms are deteriorative food, which warn of their presence, but others do not deteriorate, so that I might know of his presence, tests are needed to detect them. Some of the microorganisms called pathogens, which They are those that cause health problems to consumers belong to the type of those not food spoilage, so the only way to know of their presence in food is by microbiological analyzes, which, moreover, are wasteful and expensive. The physical, chemical and biological hazards may be present in the food, simply careless handling of raw materials, inputs used for manufacturing, its production process, from the packaging, transportation, distribution, etc ., or by intentional addition thereof, that for purposes of the final consequences becomes irrelevant. The industry organized and visible food control agencies usually meet several requirements both locative and technological, procedural and staff, enshrined in the law that prevent excesses by industrial and minimize the risks of each of the hazards discussed previously. In Colombia, there are industries that invest heavily in ensuring the in-ocuidad of the food they produce, by strict control of raw materials, processing and distribution, and training of its human resources; But not this situation exists in the country a high proportion of absolutely informal “food business”, which operate without coaching responsible and, usually, without any visibility for the control entities that produce and sell a lot of food, putting at risk the health of consumers, most of the time without the slightest intention, but as said, with the same adverse effects. Studies conducted by students of the National University of Colombia in Medellin allowed detect levels of residual sodium nitrite in sausages that are distributed informally in Medellin, three or four times higher than permitted (maximum necessary to achieve the technological purposes) in fresh produce. The same has happened with the microbiological analysis of mangoes expend itinerantemente in any corner in one of our cities, in whom is common the presence of coliforms of fecal origin. What can be said of our butchers (outlets meat section), where the dreaded “red rag” is used indiscriminately by Butcher, who proudly showcases the neck, to clean the inn where the meat is portioned, clean blood stains knife, clean your sweat and kill the flies that repeatedly try to feed on the juices of the meat. Examples like these abound in our daily diet street: pies freshly out of the frying (free of microorganisms having suffered a drastic heat treatment – “the fire kills everything,” we say as saying popularly, but full of acrylamide due to re-use the oil they were fried) are eaten with chili sauce that was prepared in cold and handled carelessly at room temperature and with any contamination. Chickens that have been prepared the day before and were not sold tend to be reheated to be offered to any unsuspecting buyer. There is also the case of foods in which the presence of absolutely foreign substances in its content is reported, which gives rise to think that their inclusion in the feed was voluntary and intentional. The presence of high levels of melamine were recently detected in the milk of Chinese origin, and caused a worldwide scandal, suggested by the nature of the substance (rich in nitrogen) that their inclusion was due precisely to this, deceiving the unsuspecting observer with higher levels of protein, in addition to the serious damage to health by consumers, especially those who consumed the sole diet. Children There is a popular belief that the “business” of food (storage, processing, distribution, etc.) is the best alternative for those who can not find work, practically only required a small capital and perhaps minimal effort, a situation that is accompanied by the laxity with which handled the mayors of permits for establishment of these businesses (when legal), and the limited control that the Institute for Monitoring Food and Drug Administration (Invima) achieves exercise, mainly due to the shortage of human and economic resource, legal gaps that occur in the existing regulations and the great development that the manufacturing industry has reached inputs, which can leave you flat regulation a few days have passed. It seems to be taking a more responsible attitude to this issue, looking for the real training for people involved in the business, beyond teaching to prepare one or other food, and take a punitive attitude to support social activity Invima, but that also force people to remain in business to work under strict health and ethical standards.

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