Using the HACCP principles, food spoilage should be something that is identified in the hazard plan and there should also be set control measures in place to deal with this situation outlined in process plans.
Food spoilage is a natural occurrence and can be identified by the following, which can be remembered using the acronym SSSDDG:
5) Damaged packaging
6) Gas formation
Food decay occurs in 3 ways
Putrefaction is a biological decomposition of the product which is easy to spot through the bad taste and ill smell emanating from the food.
Fermentation refers to a chemical change in organic substances caused by specific enzymes like mould, bacteria, and yeast. This is also easily identified through the visible changes that take place in food that is going through a fermentation process. Milk, cheese, bread can all go through a visible change, as well as a change in the smell which shows that they have spoiled.
Rancidity is associated with the spoilage of fats and when fats deteriorate over time it can result in undesirable smells and flavours.
Food should always be quality checked for signs of spoilage.
If food has been delivered spoiled then this will need to be reported to the supplier. If this is an isolated incident, then it can be handled informally, if the occurrence repeats then it may need to be reported to the relevant environmental agency or public body for further investigation.
Food spoilage that takes place on-site must be notified to the line manager who can then investigate the reasons for food spoilage and put in processes to eliminate future spoilage and waste.