Sanitation and HACCP
The most important prerequisite for a quality food is that it be safe. The consequences of not ensuring that the consumer receives food free of hazardous materials are enormous and far reaching. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report with a new estimate that foodborne diseases cause about 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3000 deaths annually in the United States . In addition to the impact on public health, foodborne illness may result in an annual cost of $77 billion from multiple negative outcomes that include, health care costs, lawsuits, increased insurance costs, business closings, and the erosion of trust that consumers have in the safety of the food supply . One illness outbreak associated with a particular food product can cause catastrophic damage to that industry from which recovery can take many years. Moreover, regulatory agencies may increase surveillance and initiate new regulatory requirements.