Managing Food Safety and Hygiene
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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.
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Chapter 5: Risk Regulation Beyond the State: Research Responses about Non-State Regulatory Influences

Bridget M. Hutter


In mapping out the variety of non-state actors who may play a risk regulation role it is useful to distinguish between the state, the economy and civil society (Hutter 2006a). This helps to facilitate discussion of sources of regulation which are autonomous and independent from the state1 and consider more systematically the nature of their influence on regulatory and risk management issues. Three main sources of regulation can be identified in the economic sector, namely, industry or trade organizations, companies themselves and those whose business is selling regulatory and risk management advice or cover to companies. The first two of these are often referred to under the heading of ‘self-regulation’. This covers a wide range of arrangements (Ogus 1994) and is a prominent regulatory form (Gunningham and Rees 1997). Regulation by business itself is discussed in Chapter 6. This chapter will focus on economic sector self-regulation as mediated through trade associations2 and the influence of those involved in selling regulatory and risk management advice, for example, insurance companies and consultancies. The term civil society embraces a fairly broad range of actors and organizations. Accordingly the range of sources of regulation in the civil sector is diverse. Perhaps the best-known regulatory sources in this sector are NGOs, a category which itself includes a diverse range of organizations which may operate at the local, national or international levels (Hutter and O’Mahony 2004). Also important in the civil sector are standards organizations which produce standards about product quality, quality assurance and risk management...

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