Managing Food Safety and Hygiene

Managing Food Safety and Hygiene

Governance and Regulation as Risk Management

Bridget M. Hutter

Food safety and hygiene is of critical importance to us all, yet, as periodic food crises in various countries each year show we are all dependent on others in business and public regulation to ensure that the food we consume in the retailing and hospitality sectors is safe. Bridget Hutter considers the understandings of risk and regulation held by those in business and considers the compliance pressures on managers and owners, and how these relate to understandings of risk and uncertainty.

Introduction: Setting the Scene

Bridget M. Hutter

Subjects: development studies, agricultural economics, economics and finance, agricultural economics, environment, agricultural economics, disasters, law - academic, health law, politics and public policy, public policy, regulation and governance

Extract

This book discusses a topic that touches us all, namely, food safety and food hygiene. We all have to eat and we are all to some extent dependent on others to ensure that the food we eat does not harm us. Modern food chains are complex. Food is big business and it is a truly global business. The food we buy in our supermarkets, corner shops, restaurants and cafes may have travelled thousands of miles before it reaches us. It may also have been handled by a chain of people upon whom we rely to ensure that the produce we receive is safe. Food is not only a significant part of our economy and our social lives, it also has profound significance for our wellbeing (see Chapter 2). In this book we focus on two major sectors of the food chain, food retailing and food hospitality, and we examine one food governance regime, namely, that pertaining to food safety and food hygiene. RISK This book is about risk, in particular the prevention of the risks associated with food safety/hygiene. There have been a number of very high profile food risk disasters in the lifetime of readers of this book, for example, the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis and cases of E. coli fatalities (see Chapter 4). But the most common manifestations of food safety/hygiene risks are low level and undramatic episodes, typically upset stomachs leading to a day or two off work. These are events which may not even be...