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The small business dilemma: Understanding and reacting to the unique requirements of Abu Dhabi small businesses in achieving food safety standards

Eunice Taylor (TSI Quality Services, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Mariam Al Yousuf (Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Eyad Saleh Nassar (Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Mohamed Saleh (Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Jiji Philip (Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Article publication date: 9 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the particular dilemma of achieving international best practice and regulatory compliance for food safety in small local restaurants with limited resources, low levels of literacy and no common language. It is the fourth article in a Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes theme issue presenting a comprehensive government strategy for improving food safety management standards across the hospitality industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The article outlines extensive industry fieldwork involving on-site observations and interviews, undertaken by researchers from the relevant cultural backgrounds to identify common practices and specific risks, and facilitate targeted interventions.

Findings

As expected, the independent restaurant sub-sector in Abu Dhabi is similar to international norms, with the additional challenge of language and literacy. In-depth on-site observations reveal a range of high-risk situations and practices, which require specific solutions from government to raise food safety levels.

Practical implications

This article clarifies the scale and nature of the independent restaurant sub-sector of hospitality businesses, and uses in-depth, culturally appropriate research to identify the reality of food safety practices, major risks and areas for improvement. It identifies a list of 18 practices found in small hospitality businesses, which if controlled would make a significant difference to food safety.

Originality/value

The article will be of value to practitioners, researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders involved in the food industry.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The ADFCA would like to acknowledge the valuable input and support of the many businesses and stakeholder representatives who worked alongside the HACCP for Catering Project team during the course of the research presented in this article.

Citation

Taylor, E., Al Yousuf, M., Nassar, E.S., Saleh, M. and Philip, J. (2015), "The small business dilemma: Understanding and reacting to the unique requirements of Abu Dhabi small businesses in achieving food safety standards", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 50-62. https://doi.org/10.1108/WHATT-12-2014-0040

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited