Providing safe and nutritious food and water to employees in remote areas is not without challenge, particularly in a large project where the number of employees is increasing rapidly and the caterer is expected to cope. The control of catering contracts can become more fragmented with the risk of illness from food and water hazards increased. Food and Waterborne diseases are a major contributor to the global disease burden and as such, have a large potential health and economic impact on oil and gas projects and operations. Ethics, economics and social responsibility drive the need for the awareness of public health issues and communicable diseases that impact on the oil and gas industry, particularly in frontier locations where the health infrastructure is likely to be extremely weak and in developing countries where the food preparation and supply chain standards may be less developed. Correct planning, development and implementation of an effective food and water safety management program by oil and gas operators, contractors and caterers involved in offshore & onshore installations can create both short term improvements in site operations and sustained improvements over the long term due to higher overall workforce productivity from the prevention of work place foodborne illness. The management of food safety and food hygiene in catering and potable water is risk assessment based and aimed at the prevention of food safety incidents and illness.
Internationally recognised food safety standards and systems (HACCP) have been developed by the United Nations World Health Organisation and these standards form the basis of food safety legislation and good catering practices around the world. Haccp is also recognised and referred to in standards produced by the World Bank & World Trade Organisation.
A Food Safety Management Program is therefore an integral part of preventative health program which can be applied to the management of all facilities where food is prepared, served or consumed whether onshore or offshore. A Food Safety Advisor within the occupational health team can lead the planning, development, implementation or improvement of the food safety & potable water management programs for your project or operation.