Continual improvement within management systems is essential to ensure the continued relevance of implemented systems and to mitigate stagnant and ineffective systems. South African abattoir managers utilise a regulated food safety system called the hygiene management system (HMS) to manage the safe processing of meat. The extent to which the HMS supports continual improvement is not clear as there is no specific requirement to demonstrate continual improvement within implemented systems. The aim of this paper is to provide this clarification by developing a framework of compliance criteria for continual improvement (CI) benchmarking the ISO 9000 series.
This study attempted to provide this clarification by developing a framework of compliance criteria for continual improvement (CI) benchmarking the ISO 9000 series. Thereafter the HMS requirements were assessed against these criteria to determine whether or not any gaps existed within the HMS requirements in support of continual improvement. This study adopted a qualitative approach where a review of standards formed the basis of the study.
This study demonstrates that the HMS is designed to support process stability. Further, the HMS requirements are sufficient to facilitate management of meat safety at abattoirs. However there are important gaps within the HMS in support of prevention as a means of continual improvement. The author postulates likely consequences of such gaps during implementation and management of the HMS.
This study emphasises the importance of fundamental principles in quality management underpinning basic improvement mechanisms of corrective and preventative action towards improvement. It also provides a basis for further empirical research into the extent to which improvement is made within implemented HMSs at abattoirs.
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