Costs, benefits and barriers to the application of hygiene management systems in the United Kingdom food industry
Mortlock, Matthew Peter
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is the system of choice for the Food Standards Agency in attempting to improve risk management within the UK food industry. Informing the debate surrounding the potential barriers to HACCP implementation, this research aimed to identify the factors influencing the uptake of such systems and profile the potential costs and benefits of their implementation either individually or as part of industry wide initiatives. Results from a 1997 postal survey showed that 69% of UK food manufacturers reported having implemented HACCP, compared to only 15% of caterers and 13%o of retailers. Business size, status, managerial risk perceptions and training levels were associated with use of HACCP within individual industry sectors. The experience of eight case studies suggested that HACCP systems had been able to be implemented within the reasonable financial means of businesses both large and small. Although tangible financial benefits as a result of HACCP were experienced by only one case study, the less tangible benefits of improved food safety control through HACCP were recognised. Evaluation of a sector wide HACCP initiative for English retail butchers identified average implementation costs of f859. Although significant improvements in HACCP related knowledge and ability were delivered by the training provided, many managers believed that they would require further support to help maintain their system. Results from a Vickrey auction suggested that a substantial proportion of consumers would be willing to pay more for HACCP, although once mandatory, the system attracts lower premiums. Recommendations made for further action in promoting the wider use of HACCP include the need for monitoring of HACCP implementation rates, the provision of further evidence on the likely costs and benefits of HACCP and the need to ensure a sound basis for HACCP by improving general levels of hygiene practice and hygiene training.
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