The effective enforcement of HACCP based food safety management systems in the UK

Green, RM and Kane, KJ 2014, 'The effective enforcement of HACCP based food safety management systems in the UK' , Food Control, 37 , pp. 257-262.

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Abstract

This paper describes the research to determine the effectiveness of Environmental Health Officers, EHOs, in identifying and controlling the significant risks of foodborne illness in small catering operations in the UK.The research refers to food inspections carried out between 1991 and 2004, a period which marked the introduction, into UK legislation, of the concept of risk based food safety management systems in 1995.The work uses a single English local authority as a case study and employs an 'Archive Retrieval' methodology. The inspection reports on 77 Micro Owner/Managed Catering Businesses, MO/MCBs, over the period in question are deconstructed and each individual item identified as either 'visually apparent/rule-based' or 'risk-based'. In this way the EHOs' findings are collated; consequently, the propensity of EHOs to identify the significant risks of foodborne illness as opposed to time spent identifying any visually apparent and rule-based misdemeanours is quantified.The results show that EHOs are relatively ineffective at identifying risk based issues in food safety inspection reports prior to the introduction of the risk based legislation and that there is little change afterwards.This research highlights a weakness in the concept of the implementation of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points, HACCP, in this sector, in that MO/MCBs do not have the scientific expertise to comprehensively identify the significant risks in their businesses, while EHOs have the scientific knowledge but don't appreciate the practical nuances of the systems within the business in sufficient detail to identify these potential problems.The research further highlights problems with the historic confrontational relationship between the EHO and the food operator and recognises the need to pool respective talents in order to effectively identify and control the significant risks of foodborne illness within the MO/MCB sector, thus demonstrating the need for a more cooperative approach to enforcement.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Journal or Publication Title: Food Control
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0956-7135
Depositing User: WM Taylor
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2016 07:43
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2016 07:43
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/40416

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