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The food retail sector covers organized modern retail outlets as well as traditional grocery shops, food service industries like restaurants and cafeterias, and street foods of various types. Although each type of retail outlet has its own food safety issues as well as risk management options, good practices including hygiene are generally important in any food sector related activity as well as in food retail. Modern organized food retail has to deal with a large range of activities covering basic food procurement and sourcing, processing (simple as well as complex), storage or warehousing, imports and, finally, handling at the front end where interaction with customers is high. Smaller, less organized outlets such as bakeries, cafeterias, simple food handling joints and eateries are also part of retail operations and pose additional food safety risks.

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