Can evolving methods of food safety management provide global solutions for the food service sector?

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Article publication date: 15 November 2011

Citation

Joanne, T. (2011), "Can evolving methods of food safety management provide global solutions for the food service sector?", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 3 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/whatt.2011.40803eaa.001

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Can evolving methods of food safety management provide global solutions for the food service sector?

Can evolving methods of food safety management provide global solutions for the food service sector?

Article Type: Editorial From: Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Volume 3, Issue 5

This issue examines current practices and evolving methods of food safety management and the extent to which Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (the international standard for managing food safety) can provide globally applicable solutions for the food service sector. I should like to thank Joanne Taylor and her team for a broad-ranging international analysis that draws from on-going applications to illustrate an array of developments in this field.

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 TeareManaging Editor, WHATT

This WHATT issue introduces a range of international innovations and initiatives in food safety and investigates whether evolving methods of food safety management can provide global solutions for the food service sector.

The first paper looks at the global relevance of barriers and solutions to food safety management introduced in a previous WHATT theme issue based on UK research. It gathers results from small in-depth studies in hospitality businesses in Barbados, Dubai, Oman and Nigeria, and shows parallel problems and the potential for parallel solutions.

The second paper identifies the food safety priorities and challenges faced by senior government officials and academics from a range of countries. It also investigates the wider issues of national food safety policy development. The findings indicate similar challenges, priorities and motivations, with a focus on food control management and information, education, communication and training. Small and less developed businesses and particularly the hospitality sector are highlighted as especially important.

The third paper investigates the costs and benefits associated with implementing food safety management systems, in particular the new evolving methods of food safety management. It identifies the benefits purported by a selection of national governments and international agencies and explores these in relation to the perceptions of the small business owner.

Papers four, five and six demonstrate the specific national government strategies of three Emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE): Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai. The case studies show three separate government projects concerning food safety in the hospitality sector, but they have important similarities. Each program is mandatory for the industry, and is also exerting stricter control over the commercial training providers involved, the training delivered, and the examination processes.

In doing this they have overcome some of the problems faced by the industry prior to these initiatives, and also revealed a deeper insight into challenges that are faced. Each municipality has made its own unique attempt to overcome the challenges: in Sharjah the training is linked to practical food safety systems and audit to assess practical compliance, in Dubai the new training courses are focused solely on the on-site managers of food businesses to develop increased ownership, and in Abu Dhabi a new photo-based examination has been developed to assist food handlers with low levels of literacy in demonstrating their knowledge.

Paper seven is an industry viewpoint from Subway, the world’s largest restaurant chain, from the UAE Head Office. This includes a detailed account of a practical implementation of an evolving method of food safety management that has been initiated with great success within stores.

Finally, paper eight takes an in-depth look into a somewhat elusive and complex concept that is becoming an increasing topic of interest in the field: food safety culture. In view of the multi-national issues raised in each of the previous case studies, the concept is investigated within this context. Literature and practical research in the fields of management, international business and food safety are explored and brought together with the seven previous papers within this theme edition, to develop a theoretical framework of “food safety culture” in a multi-cultural environment. Recommendations for improving food safety culture include the use of evolving methods of food safety management within an integrated strategy that incorporates a range of internal and external cultural factors.

Acknowledgements

The Theme Editor would like to thank all of the authors in this theme edition, and the interviewees and businesses they have worked with, for sharing their valuable time and expertise. She would also like to thank Managing Editor Richard Teare for his ongoing support.

About the Theme Editor

Dr Joanne Zaida Taylor leads an MSc program in Food Safety Management at the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates and teaches on an MSc in International Business at the University of Salford. She has pioneered the use of in-depth psychological research methods in the field of food safety management and her research work is widely published and replicated. She has worked on secondment for the UK Food Standards Agency and on placement at the FAO/WHO. She was on the original development team that created the “evolving method” of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point for hospitality investigated in this theme issue.

Joanne TaylorTheme Editor