AbstractsBusiness Management & Administration


by Tiina Läikkö-Roto

Institution: University of Helsinki
Year: 2016
Keywords: elintarvikevalvonnan tutkimus; elintarvikevalvonnan tutkimus
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2083265
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/166836


The primary legal responsibility for ensuring food safety in the European Union lies with food business operators. However, official controls shall also be implemented to ensure that food handling complies with the relevant requirements. Level of food safety is thus affected by several factors: the appropriateness of legislation in order to achieve food safety, the compliance of food businesses with legislative demands, and the efficacy of official food controls in verifying and enforcing compliance. The main objective of this work was to examine the factors behind efficacious local official food controls and the possibilities for improving the efficacy of the controls at different levels of the food control chain in Finland. The second objective was to investigate the consistency and quality of the local official food controls and ways to enhance these. To achieve these aims, studies were conducted on four different levels of the food control chain, i.e. level of food business operators, level of official inspecting staff, level of management for the official inspecting staff, and level of auditing of official food controls. Businesses that both prepared and served foods (in this work restaurants or restaurant business operators ) were chosen as representatives of food businesses. Positive correlations were found between the hygiene knowledge of restaurant business operators, their attitudes towards official food control, and the hygiene level of their operations. Proper justification of control measures used by food control officials, provision of guidance, and a negotiative approach in tasks of official food controls appear to be highly important for improving hygiene in food establishments. Several factors related to the food control official and the working unit of the official may affect the inspection processes and the efficacy of controls. The use of checklists and templates for inspection reports were noted to enhance the consistency and efficacy of controls. The templates also reduced the time used in preparing inspection reports and increased the quality of these reports. Time limits for correcting non-compliances had a significant impact on the efficacy of controls. Food control units had created adequate working conditions by providing their staff with guidance papers, templates, and possibilities to collectively hold discussions. However, poor orientation of new staff, non-systematic utilization of tacit knowledge through converting it to explicit knowledge and sharing it, and incomplete commitment among staff to quality systems remain challenges in the units. Insufficient human resources and the inability of heads of food control units to recognize problems in the workplace setting may impair the functional capacity of units. Poor workplace atmosphere and weaknesses in organization of work may be reflected in lesser appreciation of food businesses operators towards official food controls. Perceptions of the auditors (regional officials) and of the auditees (municipal officials) differed…