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OSHA Scanning Food Industry for Health Risks

Do you think the flavors added in most food products are safe? In most cases, the food flavors are harmful to our health, and are even more harmful to the workers who handle them in the first place!

Workers exposed to flavoring substances face major health risks like lung disease, irritation of the eyes, throat and nose. OSHA has stated that even though flavoring substances may be considered safe to eat, it doesn’t mean it is safe to handle or breathe in occupational settings. There are records stating the potential risks to employees from uncontrolled airborne exposures to some flavoring substances.

Till now, the Food and Drug Administration hadn’t really classified the safety of exposure to flavoring substances. Now, investigations have started on certain flavoring substances, including diacetyl, to find out what exact role they have in the development of lung disease bronchiolitis obliterans and fixed airway obstruction.

Some manufacturers have either eliminated or reduced the amount of diacetyl used in their food flavors, but the substitutes used have not been well-researched and there is a growing concern about the potential health risks they are posing to the workers. Again, there is additional concern about the combination of chemicals used that may increase the harm caused.

OSHA has now released a bulletin to protect the employees exposed to these harmful flavoring substances. The primary goal is to control the exposure and train employees to identify the hazards associated.