An evaluation of process specific information resources, aimed at hazard analysis,in Small and Medium Enterprises in food manufacturing
Peters, Adrian C.
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Food borne illness continues to be a major global concern, with approximately 76 million cases in the US and 70,000 in the UK annually. The adoption of a food safety management system based upon Codex HACCP principles became a legal requirement in the UK on January 1st 2006 but some companies are inexperienced and fail to implement it correctly. Barriers to HACCP include time, money and expertise, particularly for SMEs and microbusinesses. Lack of expertise is a particular problem when constructing the hazard analysis component of HACCP. A sector specific information resource, using simple language with no technical terms or jargon, was developed to assist SMEs with hazard analysis. One hundred and twenty three SME food manufacturers were recruited and intervention and control groups were assigned, with the intervention group receiving the resource. Evaluation visits were performed after four months. Each company was assessed against a specific tool that determined knowledge, behavior and attitude to food safety. The resource was well received but there was no significant improvement in knowledge, behavior or attitude when comparing the intervention and control group scores. Significant differences in the behavior of SMEs and microbusinesses were evident with SMEs scoring higher in all sections of the resource than the microbusinesses. SMEs also had a significantly higher total knowledge score than microbusinesses but there were no significant differences in attitudes. It is apparent action must be taken to assist SMEs with hazard analysis and full HACCP implementation, but provision of a single resource without additional support is not enough. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Food Control 22 (2011) 1171-1177
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