Sanitation and the Food Industry

  • Norman G. Marriott
  • M. Wes Schilling
  • Robert B. Gravani
Part of the Food Science Text Series book series (FSTS)


Large-volume food processing, retail, and preparation operations have increased the need for sanitary practices and hygienic conditions in the food industry. Even in hygienically designed plants, foods can be contaminated with spoilage microorganisms or those causing foodborne illness if proper sanitary practices are not properly and routinely followed.

Sanitation is the creation and maintenance of hygienic and healthful conditions. It is an applied science that incorporates principles regarding the design, development, implementation, and maintenance of hygienic practices and conditions. Sanitation is also considered to be a foundation for food safety assurance systems.

The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act covers food commodities except meat and poultry products from harvest through processing and distribution channels. Meat and poultry products are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) regulations are specific requirements developed to establish minimum criteria for sanitation practices. A number of statutes related to pollution control of the air, water, and other resources are enforced through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The progressive company, including food processors, food retailers, and foodservice operators, should take responsibility for establishing and maintaining sanitary practices. An effective sanitation program is the foundation of a food safety assurance system that is essential in reducing the risk of biological, chemical, and physical hazards, meeting regulatory requirements; protecting brand, image, and product reputation; and ensuring product safety and quality.


Food processing Food system HACCP Laws Pathogens Regulations 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman G. Marriott
    • 1
  • M. Wes Schilling
    • 2
  • Robert B. Gravani
    • 3
  1. 1.Virginia Polytechnic Institute State UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of Food ScienceMississippi State UniversityMississippiUSA
  3. 3.Department of Food ScienceCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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