Chapter 3: The Food Industry and Risk: Official Data and Workplace Understandings
The food safety and food hygiene risks associated with the food retail and catering sectors have the potential to cause considerable suffering to the public and cost to the economy. This chapter will consider the main food safety/hygiene risks that require managing in the retail and hospitality industry in the UK. It will then turn to the empirical data to examine how much is known about these risks by those working in the food industry. Their understandings of food hygiene and food safety risks affect the wellbeing of us all as their levels of comprehension may well influence their capacity to manage risk and their propensity to comply with food safety/hygiene regulations. RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH FOOD SAFETY/HYGIENE IN THE HOSPITALITY AND RETAIL SECTORS: OFFICIAL DATA Foodborne diseases are perhaps the best known risks associated with the food sector. Foodborne disease is defined by the World Health Organization (Food Safety Act 1990) as ‘any disease of an infectious or toxic nature caused by or thought to be caused by the consumption of food or water’. It is also used, along with its more populist counterpart ‘food poisoning’, to refer to a group of infectious intestinal diseases (IIDs) which may be spread by a variety of pathways including microorganisms and parasites which may be found in foods of plant and animal origin: diseases which can be transmitted from animals to humans are called ‘zoonoses’ (see generally Federal Institute of Risk Assessment, http://www.bfr.bund.de/en/food_safety-737.html (accessed 20 April 2011)). Data on foodborne diseases...
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