Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Volume 7, Issue 1
The World Health Organization’s Web site includes “ten facts on food safety” which they say account for the main reasons why millions of people fall ill every year and many die as a result of eating unsafe food. Serious outbreaks of foodborne disease have been documented on every continent in the past decade, and in many countries, rates of illnesses are increasing significantly. Given the scale of the problem, this theme issue explores the ways in which government agencies and industry can work together to develop a comprehensive strategy to improve food safety management standards in the hospitality industry. Theme editor Eunice Taylor led the team that developed “Safer Food Better Business” for the UK Food Standards Agency from 2001 to 2005, and her theme issue builds on recent work with the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority. The writing team draw on a long-term project in Abu Dhabi to provide both policy guidelines and action points for the industry, and I would like to thank Eunice and her team for their outstanding contribution to policy and practice in food safety management. Taken together, the seven articles in this collection form an essential resource for anyone with an interest in how to secure sustainable improvements in food safety management in any sector of the hospitality industry.
Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes (WHATT) aims to make a practical and theoretical contribution to hospitality and tourism development, and we seek to do this by using a key question to focus attention on an industry issue. If you would like to contribute to our work by serving as a WHATT theme editor, do please contact me.
Richard Teare, Managing Editor, WHATT
What action can government take to improve food safety in a diverse and multi-cultural hospitality industry environment?
This WHATT issue recounts the experiences and outcomes of a four-year strategic initiative dedicated to assessing and improving food safety management in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It focuses on the particular challenges and innovative solutions required within the diverse and multi-cultural hospitality sector. To set the scene, the first article by Mariam Al Yousuf, Eunice Taylor and Joanne Taylor explains why the theme issue question is important by outlining the challenges and barriers to food safety management that are seen globally, and tracing the developments and initiatives that have been established in other countries. It describes how and why the Abu Dhabi hospitality industry was divided into eight sub-sectors, with specific and targeted guidance and requirements developed for each one.
The second article by Ahmad Al Kaabi, Alyazi Al Mazrouei, Salma Al Hamadi, Mariam Al Yousef and Eunice Taylor details the methods used, and results found, during an in-depth investigation into the status of food safety management systems in all sub-sectors. It highlights the quantitative and qualitative data gathered from industry visits, surveys, interviews, document analysis, focus groups and stakeholder workshops. This baseline data, along with regulatory requirements based on international best practice, provided a detailed roadmap for the outcomes to be achieved.
The third article by Mariam Al Yousuf, Samara Bin Salem, Bashir Abdi Ali, Morad Saleib, Hasan Juwaihan and Eunice Taylor outlines the process of developing Codes of Practice for eight industry sub-sectors, namely, hotels, contract caterers, labor camps, schools and hospitals, traditional kitchens, independent restaurants, local restaurant chains and international chains. It then highlights the broad content areas for each, and discusses a new method of regulatory audit designed to assess compliance.
The fourth article by Eunice Taylor, Mariam Al Yousuf, Eyad Saleh Nassar, Mohamed Saleh and Jiji Philip explores the particular dilemma of achieving international best practice and regulatory compliance in small local restaurants with limited resources, low levels of literacy and no common language. It outlines extensive industry fieldwork with researchers from the relevant cultural backgrounds to identify common practices and specific risks, and facilitate targeted interventions. It concludes with a focused list of 18 practices, which if controlled would make a significant difference to food safety.
The fifth article by Mariam Al Khadja, Mouza Al Muhairi, Mariam Yousuf, Alyazi al Mazrouei, Mostafa Ibrahim Ali and Eunice Taylor focuses on small businesses and describes the process of developing an innovative solution to enhance food safety and promote HACCP-based food safety management techniques in this most challenging industry sub-sector. It outlines the essential design principles that were established, and the process of designing and approving the documents and records that make up the “Salamt Zadna” system. It includes details of a phased implementation strategy for “Salamt Zadna”, undertaken by government inspectors after an extensive period of capacity building. Finally, the evaluation to date is presented.
The sixth article by Joanne Taylor, Jean Pierre Garat, Samer Simreen and Ghida Sarieddine looks at the roles and responsibilities of the industry in relation to achieving food safety management standards. It introduces the first detailed and practical model of food safety culture excellence for the food industry, and explains how an audit tool has been developed to assess this. Using as a case study the first business in Abu Dhabi to achieve regulatory compliance for HACCP-based food safety management, it then demonstrates a practical implementation of the audit process and demonstrates how this can be used for continual improvement.
The seventh article by Eunice Taylor and Joanne Taylor revisits the strategic question and considers the extent to which the lessons and successes in Abu Dhabi could be applied in other multi-cultural settings. It also provides an outline of the policy guidelines needed and the action points for the industry.
Eunice Taylor, Theme Editor
About the Theme Editor
Eunice Taylor worked as a Policy Specialist at the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) in the United Arab Emirates from 2000-2014 during the time when the work reported in this theme issue was under development and she is now the Special Projects Director at Taylor Shannon International, based between the UK and UAE. She is Professor Emeritus at the University of Salford and Visiting Professor at the University of Chester, UK. Eunice launched the world’s first MSc in HACCP in 1999, and the world’s first e-learning MSc in HACCP in 2001. She was seconded to the UK Food Standards Agency from 2001 to 2005 to lead the development of Safer Food Better Business (SFBB), a new method of HACCP for the hospitality industry. Eunice has represented the Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Health Organisation on various international projects, and has authored many textbooks and journal articles in the fields of food safety management and HACCP. She graduated in Food Science from Reading University and received a PhD in Food Safety Management from the Food Policy Research Unit at the University of Bradford.