Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells to provide energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.
In the quality management context, food refers to any substance intended for human consumption, either raw or processed. The quality of food is of utmost importance because it affects not only the taste, but also the safety and health of consumers.
Examples of food in the quality management context include:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Meat products, such as beef, poultry, and seafood
- Processed foods, such as canned goods, snacks, and ready-to-eat meals
- Beverages, such as juice, soda, and tea
Quality management in the food industry involves ensuring that food is produced, processed, and packaged in a safe and hygienic manner, and that it meets the required safety and quality standards. This involves controlling and monitoring the production process, from raw material procurement to finished product distribution, to ensure that food is safe for human consumption. Quality management in the food industry also involves implementing food safety and quality systems, such as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and ISO 22000, to ensure that food is free from contaminants and meets the required specifications. By following a strict quality management system, organizations in the food industry can ensure that they provide safe and high-quality food to their customers.