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The HACCP implementation in hotel restaurant
A case study based on the view of the organization's culture
Reason for choice of this topic
The author has selected this topic because of his interest in a future career in food and beverage industry. Part A has showed that he has good leadership and team building skills to become a leader in this filed. He feels that it would be imperative to have good understanding of food safety if he would like to be a chef after graduated from the university.
In Hong Kong, there are great proportion of people went out to have their meal. According to Hong Kong centre for health protection (CHP, 2007) the number of people eating out more than five times a week are 30.2% for breakfast, 51.5% for lunch and 10.8% for dinner respectively.
Having such culture of eating out, food safety should be considered as the first priority in the hospitality industry in Hong Kong, however, in recent years, food poisoning is continually increasing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2007), the global incidence of food-borne diseases is difficult to estimate, but it has been reported that in 2005 alone 1.8 million people died from diarrhoeal diseases. A great proportion of these cases can be attributed to contamination of food and drinking water. In industrialized countries, the percentage of the population suffering from food-borne diseases each year has been reported to be up to 30%. In addition, contaminated food could result from improper food handling, preparation, or food storage.
Although HACCP is an internationally recognized food safety management system, there are great barriers to implement such system in the hospitality industry
Academic objectives of project
This paper aims to achieve the following objectives:
- To gain understanding of HACCP and its implementation in Hospitality industry.
- To compare current academic literature on the food safety issues.
- To identify the barriers of implementing HACCP system in Hospitality industry.
- To identify the ways to strengthening the food safety culture within the Hospitality organization rather than focusing on creating a better safety system.
Outline of sections
The literature review will be divided into four parts. The fist part is about the introduction of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point System (HACCP), including this definition and its implementation. The second part is about the barriers of implementing HACCP system in Hospitality industry e.g. practical and psychological barriers. The third part is about the organizational culture which included its definition and connection between HACCP implementation. The final part is the ways to strengthening the food safety culture. It is because having a positive food safety culture within the organization is more reliable that strictly follow the food safety management system such as HACCP.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2007) Food-borne diseases or Food poisoning seem to have been increasing globally in recent years. Food poisoning can be broadly defined as the illness caused by the consumption of contaminated food or water containing various bacteria, viruses, parasites or even toxins of biochemical or chemical nature. The types of foods produced or served by a business along with the management of how they are prepared or produced are likely to contribute to the risk of a business causing food poisoning. (Griffith, 2010)
Although, there are food safety management system such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), the implementation of the HACCP system requires additional resources for staff training, investments on buildings and equipment, extra purchase of supplies, as well as technical support furthermore, within a business a number of sub cultures compete for priority and often the biggest rival to food safety culture is a culture of saving money (Griffith et al., 2010). The drive to cut costs at the expense of food safety maybe false economy and it should be noted that businesses identified as a source of food poisoning outbreaks can suffer significant damage to brand identity, financial losses and possibly, in up to a third of cases, bankruptcy
(Griffith et al., 2010).
What is HACCP?
According to a recent study (Taylor, 2008)The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system is a science-based systematic approach which identifies critical control points in the production procedure that are essential to monitor and control product safety. HACCP is a tool to assess hazards and establish control systems that focus on prevention rather than relying on end-product testing. The system can be applied throughout the food chain from primary production to final consumption, including primary producers, food manufacturers, transport and storage operators to retail and food service outlets. The implementation of HACCP system is a sign for delivering safe food products to customers.
HACCP is an internationally recognized system and is built on seven key principles:
- Hazard Analysis: Potential biological, chemical and physical hazards must be evaluated for each ingredient and at each step of the manufacturing process.
- Identify Critical Control Points: Those points in the process where control can be applied to eliminate or reduce an identified hazard to an acceptable level.
- Establish Critical Limits: Defined as the maximum or minimum parameter that must be met to eliminate or reduce the hazard to an acceptable limit.
- Establish Monitoring Requirements: Used to assess whether the critical limits are met and to establish records for verification.
- Establish Corrective Actions: The actions taken to bring a CCP back under control and the steps taken to prevent further contamination of the product as well as the steps taken to prevent the distribution of potentially contaminated product.
- Establish Verification Procedures: Verification assures the plan is effectively implemented and followed.
- Establish Record Keeping and Documentation Procedures: Includes record retention of types of records kept such as the hazard analysis, the HACCP plan, support documentation and operational records.
By focussing inspection at CCPs, HACCP improves the scientific basis for safety and control processes. A CCP is "any point in the chain of food production from raw materials to finished product where the loss of control could result in unacceptable food safety risk" (Pierson and Corlett, 1992). Monitoring of CCPs is done best by using indicators that can be measured easily. This focus on measurable indicators provides a more cost-effective approach to control than product sampling and testing, which is more expensive and may not provide timely results. This is especially important for foodborne microbial pathogens, because their incidence is low and the costs of testing are high. It is important to recognise that HACCP is not designed to replace management decisions weighing potential benefits from product qualities against costs, or the value of improved safety versus the costs of achieving it. HAC
CP facilitates improved product safety, but management has the discretion to determine what the final product quality will be. These issues enter into the firm's deliberations in determining CCPs and tolerance limits at CCPs. (The economic)
HACCP was originally developed as a quality control tool in food processing, where branded product liability creates industry incentives for hazard control. It was intended to be flexible enough to adapt to different firms, plants, or processes within plants. Its application as a regulatory standard to an entire industry or sector, or at different stages in the supply chain, is necessarily different. (Unnevehr and Jensen 1999),
Why is HACCP important?
The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a food safety management system that is currently promoted internationally because it enables food business operators to control food safety risks at all points along the production line, rather than waiting for microbiological testing of the final product (Tuominen et al., 2003).
It regarded as the most effective way to achieve food safety is to focus on prevention of possible hazards and to improve the process (Swanson and Anderson, 2000;)
The HACCP system also relies heavily on verification and documentation to ensure that food safety has not been compromised during any step. HACCP therefore provides a structure for assessing risks. HACCP therefore provides a structure for assessing risks or whatever could go wrong and putting the requisite controls in place to minimize such risks. (Stephaniem et al.,2009)
The advantage of HACCP based systems is that they can be designed to include all different types of foods, their raw materials (whatever their source) and associated hazards. (Griffith, 2010)
(Semos and Kontogeorgos, 2007) denoted that the implementation of the HACCP system to food processing can result in benefits to industry, government and consumers, promoting, in this way, a potential improvement of food safety and prevention of food poisoning.
HACCP focus on measurable indicators provides a more cost-effective approach to control than product sampling and testing, which is more expensive and may not provide timely results. This is especially important for food-borne microbial pathogens, because their incidence is low and the costs of testing are high.
Requirement of implementing the HACCP system in hospitality industry
Before HACCP can be implemented, prerequisite programs (PRPs) such as good hygienic practices, staff training, and documented standard operating procedure should be well established. HACCP's effectiveness relies on the knowledge and skills of both management and staff. (Taylor, 2008), pointed out that the most important factor driving the implementation of HACCP is the employment of experienced, technically qualified persons. While flexibility appropriate to the business is important, all seven principles must be applied in the HACCP system. This takes into account the nature and size of the operation, including the human and financial resources, infrastructure, processes, knowledge, and practical constraints. The seven principles can be applied in businesses regardless of size and the nature of the operations. (Semos and Kontogeorgos, 2007)
Implementation of the HACCP system requires additional resources for staff training, investments on buildings and equipment, extra purchase of supplies, as well as technical support furthermore, managers or businesses should provide adequate and appropriate facilities for food handlers to be hygienic and this can influence their perceived behavioral control. (Griffith, 2000)
The efficacy of the system relies heavily on the relevant HACCP knowledge and skills, management commitment, and understanding of HACCP along with changes in attitude and organizational culture - all requiring adequate training to overcome barriers related to human resources. (Adams, 2000)
Considering the results as a whole, staff training was the cost with the highest mean score indicating that this cost during the development and implementation of the HACCP system was the most important cost. The second most important cost was the investments in new equipment. As has previously been mentioned, the majority of the respondents have used an external consultant to develop and implement the HACCP system in their company. Thus, it is not surprising that the cost of the external consultant is rated as the third most important cost. (Semos and Kontogeorgos, 2007)
The cost of a HACCP system for most industries depends not only on the requirements of the system, but also on the improvement of the current status of food safety-related practices in the company. Considering the cost of HACCP systems, it is important to take into account the firm's long-term savings derived by a potential decrease in recalling contaminated food products (Taylor, 2001).
A food handlers' knowledge of food safety is critical - they cannot behave hygienically if they do not know how to behave and why. This has led to increased emphasis on training; however, knowledge of food safety/hygiene does not always translate into implementation of food safety practices. Training provides people with the knowledge allowing them to handle food safety when they are motivated to be hygienic (Griffith, 2010).
What are the barriers in implementing the HACCP system in hospitality industry?
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is an internationally recognised system of managing food safety (Codex, 2003) and its use is advocated in the hospitality industry. Griffith (2000) stated that one of the major problems regarding the effective implementation of HACCP is that employees in food industry often lack interest and they often have a negative attitude toward the food safety programmes. Taylor and Taylor (2004) found that the main barriers that hindered the effective HACCP implementation were due to HACCP being considered as difficult, burdensome and unnecessary. They explained that the interplay of barriers at knowledge, attitude and behavioral levels could account for the problems in effective HACCP implementation.
The generated working definitions for the general barrier categories included: knowledge as a body of acquired facts; attitude as mental reaction to knowledge; and behaviour as the action taken as a result of knowledge acquisition and attitude development. Subcategories of these general barriers included awareness, familiarity and comprehension for knowledge while the subcategories for attitude major barrier comprised of agreement and commitment. Adoption and adherence were the subcategories for the last major barrier, behaviour
(Barriers of HACCP team members)
Furthermore, those barriers separated into two types which are practical and psychological. (Taylor, 2008) stated that there is an overwhelming range of practical and psychological barriers to the HACCP implementation in hospitality industry (Taylor et al., 2008).
The practical barriers in implementing the HACCP system in hospitality industry
Although HACCP is an internationally recognized food safety management system, there are great barriers to implement such system in the hospitality industry. Studies have shown that the major problems identified in the Hospitality industry were: lack of knowledge, training problems, high staff turnover, large variety of products, variation in potential demand and large numbers of part-time workers (Ward, 2001)
Lack of appropriate facilities has been cited as a barrier to implementation of good hygiene (Clayton et al., 2002). However even more highly cited was lack of time to be hygienic and this is likely to be even more important in food service or catering than in manufacturing. The former work to order, with customers seeking prompt service, potentially facing food handlers whilst in manufacturing businesses usually work to stock. Improving a business' shift patterns and staff numbers has helped to significantly improve hygiene implementation. Managers or businesses may say that this costs too much money and this attitude directly links to the business' organizational food safety culture. (Griffith, 2010)
Eves and Dervisi (2005) noted that when HACCP is not properly implemented it is due to time-related constraints and mostly due to the large amount of documentation required. Bas et al. (2007) and Panisello and Quantick (2001) stated that the volume of the paperwork required is a factor that hinders the HACCP effectiveness, while Taylor and Kane (2005) and Taylor (2001) refer to difficulties or lack of validation and verification procedures. Aggelogiannopoulos et al. (2007) also mentioned some other internal barriers in implementing the quality system such as the lack of financial resources, lack of personnel, human resource limitations (insufficient skills or qualifications), time restrictions because of the short operating horizon of the business, resistance of higher-level executives to change and resistance of employees to change.
(Taylor and Forte 2008) point out that The hospitality industry is predominantly made up of very small businesses with varied levels of staff training and high staff turnover. With a few exceptions, staffs lack the competence to develop a food safety management system such as HACCP. Hospitality businesses do not employ a food technologist or microbiologist in kitchens, but craftsmen who are not technically qualified to identify danger points or to use instruments such as thermocouples and digital thermometers. A skilled chef is far more capable of judging whether food is adequately cooked using more traditional methods, such as colour or texture changes in food.
Second, unlike the manufacturing industry, the average hospitality outlet offers an extended product range (menu) to the customer. It would not be possible to produce a flow diagram for each product offered as required by the international HACCP Guidelines (Codex, 2003). Furthermore, the average hospitality business is highly flexible and creative and there is a higher number of products offered, less use of standard recipes and often ad hoc reworking of ingredients.
Third, the first HACCP principle requires a detailed, technical hazard analysis (Codex, 2003). Not surprisingly, many caterers do not understand the technical HACCP and microbiological "jargon" and most often have no ability to identify critical risks in food preparation and cooking.
Finally, as food is produced from a varied and complex production blueprint (menu) and the customers require immediate consumption, the production process differs considerably from that of manufacturing businesses. The working pace is variable and volatile which is unsuitable for many types of monitoring and documentation. Daily business forecasts are often unpredictable, resulting in too little or too much preliminary food preparation, and requiring flexibility to manage rather than rigid routines.
These differences create strong barriers to the implementation of HACCP in the hospitality industry, and they are very difficult to overcome. The scale of the challenge can be demonstrated by analysing previous attempts to develop HACCP guidance manuals for hospitality businesses (Taylor and Forte 2008).
The psychological barriers in implementing the HACCP system in hospitality industry
Beside the practical barriers, psychological factors are considered as the barriers to HACCP's successful implementation in Hospitality industry. A study (Taylor, 2008) stated that the psychological barriers such as staff motivation, attitude, and behaviour to the implementation. Calls have been made for more specific research on food safety culture with the concept and its importance, poorly understood by all levels in the food industry, including middle and top management. (Griffith et al 2010)
If managers have a negative attitude about following proper food safety and sanitation procedures, it will be evident to others by what they say and do.
For example, if the manager of a foodservice establishment doesn't wash his hands before beginning work, how can he expect the employees to do so?
Instead, if the manager demonstrates a positive attitude toward food safety through his words and action, the employees will more likely do the same. In companies with strong safety cultures, a proper attitude toward food safety is more caught than taught. (Yiannas, 2008)
Food safety is not just a microbiological problem but that it also has a major behavioral component (Griffith and Redmond, 2009). It has been suggested that 97% of outbreaks traced to non-manufacturing food businesses involved a food handler error/malpractice (Howes et al., 1996).
Although there was a documented HACCP system this was poor and inadequate, its content was not communicated to the employees and was not available for inspection by the environmental health officer. There was no stock rotation protocol, cleaning documentation was poor stating some items were to be cleaned daily yet the person responsible for their cleaning was only employed two days a week with cleaning of high risk areas omitted. Many procedures such as glass and pest control policies, considered essential to a meat processor of this kind, were not in place. However it is perhaps the food safety culture set by the owner/manager which gives rise to the greatest concerns. This was a culture where returned spoilt meat was repacked and re-used and where saving money had precedence over all else. Staffs were asked to work when ill and to follow the owner's example of moving between high and low risk areas without a change of clothing or hand washing. The owner falsified records, misled and lied to environmental health officers. (Griffith, 2010)
The connection between Organizational culture and the HACCP implementation
All businesses possess a "food safety culture" this can be on a continuum from positive to negative. In a positive culture, food safety is an important business objective and there is compliance with documented systems. In a negative culture, food safety is not perceived of prime importance with often other business priorities dominant (Griffith et al., 2010) and there is poor compliance with documented food safety requirements. The formation or existence of both types of culture may be managed or unmanaged. A negative culture may be the result of lack of effort or inappropriate leadership and management. In a negative culture any attempts by individuals to improve safety may be ineffective (Clayton and Griffith, 2008). Failure to comply with quality and food safety management system requirements can be both widespread and problematic.
High performing organizations consistently demonstrate elevated levels of safety culture, whereas low performing organizations show a poor safety culture (Killimett, 2006).
What is Organizational culture?
Organizational culture is defined typically in terms of the way people think, which has a direct influence on the ways in which they behave.
Organizational culture (OC) is the social or normative glue that holds an organization together. OC is an effective instrument of staff motivation leading to improved individual and organizational performance. The leadership of any type of organization has a very important inalienable responsibility in developing appropriate organizational cultures to enhance performance and job-satisfaction of organizational members. If the leadership does not put in sufficient efforts to develop a positive culture and arrest the tendencies towards negative cultures, it could be a disaster for the organization. (Anonymous, 2006)
In particular, organizational culture provides employees a common frame of reference for changes in an organization. When organizations have different cultures, people have different perceptions and interpretations of organizational changes, which affect employees' embracing changes. Therefore, organizational culture is known to be important for the success of projects involving any organizational changes (Weiling and Kwok, 2008)
A strong organizational culture helps members develop a shared sense of who they are and provides clear values and beliefs to guide decision making and the formulation of long-term strategies (McGrath and Tobia 2008).
How organizational culture overcome the barriers in HACCP implementation in the hospitality industry?
The organizational culture could contribute to both success and barriers of implementing HACCP in the hotel.
An organizational culture will influence how individuals within the group think about food safety, their attitudes toward food safety, their willingness to openly discuss concerns and share differing opinions, and, in general, the emphasis that they place on food safety. (Griffith et al, 2010b)
Individual food handler behavior links directly to the business' culture (Clayton and Griffith, 2008, Griffith et al., 2010) and potentially how management create and support the food safety culture within a business maybe the most important factor in whether a business is or is not responsible for food poisoning. Food poisoning
An organization needs to make sure that employees understand the food safety performance expectations of their job and that at all levels they are held accountable for them. The word accountability generally implies that there are checks and balances being measured to make sure certain desired outcomes are being achieved. And in organizations with strong food safety cultures, this is certainly true. For example, an organization might conduct daily HACCP checks and measurements, observe employee behaviours related to food safety, and provide feedback and coaching (both positive and negative) based on the results. But in organizations with enlightened safety cultures, they've figured out a way to transcend or go beyond accountability. They've figured out a way to get employees to do the right things, not because they're being held accountable to them, but because the employees believe in and are committed to food safety. It has been said that character is what you do when you're alone and no one is watching. In organizations with enlightened food safety cultures, employees do the right thing not because the manager or customer is watching, but because they know it's right and they care.
Organizations with strong safety cultures know this. They take the sharing of information beyond simple food safety training. They share information often and communicate regularly with their employees about food safety using a variety of messages and mediums. They realize that what we see, what we hear, and what we read, if done effectively, can have a tremendous influence on us. If it didn't, advertisers wouldn't spend the millions of dollars they do each year trying to reach consumers. Like in commercial marketing, organizations with strong food safety cultures share information not just to impart knowledge, but to persuade their employees to action.
Having an appropriate positive food safety organizational culture is essential to maintaining a successful brand. Top management need to be aware of their own role and responsibilities in culture formation and to equip their managers with the skills to create and maintain a positive food safety culture at all levels but particularly at middle management /unit level (Griffith et al., 2010).
Safety culture appears to be definable and measurable in practical terms within high-performing organizations that consistently show high levels of trust, effective communication, management credibility and an overall value of safety (Killimett, 2006). A positive safety culture is said to exist in organizations that recognize the risk for human error, but act to reduce such hazards by developing professional skills that promote safe work practices (Nieva and Sorra, 2003).
Top management in one country were under the impression that compliance with systems was good, staff understood the need to be hygienic and that food safety was crucial to the business. Unit managers held a different perspective which in turn differed in major ways from the views of shop floor staff who perceived the business' priorities to be quite different. Effectively this arranges employees into distinct organizational levels that represent differing roles in implementing, maintaining and monitoring food safety management systems and standards. (Griffith et al, 2010b)
Yiannas (2009) argues that food safety can be better achieved by strengthening the food safety culture rather than focusing on creating a bigger or better safety system. Thus a food safety culture can be viewed as the shared attitudes, values and beliefs towards the food safety behaviors that are routinely demonstrated in food handling organizations. New employees will normally adopt the dominant behaviors that appear stable throughout the organization by simply learning from colleagues and leaders when they are recruited into the business, becoming a shared responsibility by all group members.
Yiannas (2009) states that organizations can choose to create a strong food safety culture. He goes on to suggest that leaders are accountable for instigating it because they have the power and influence to create a positive food safety culture and thus have the potential to reduce the global burden of food-borne disease. He postulates that creating a positive food safety culture can support this process by actually changing the thoughts, behaviors and beliefs of individuals within a group.
Summary and Conclusion
The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system is a science-based systematic approach which identifies critical control points in the production procedure that are essential to monitor and control product safety. The implementation of HACCP system is a sign for delivering safe food products to customers. It regarded as the most effective way to achieve food safety is to focus on prevention of possible hazards and to improve the process.
The advantage of HACCP based systems is that they can be designed to include all different types of foods, their raw materials (whatever their source) and associated hazards.
The implementation of the HACCP system to food processing can result in benefits to industry, government and consumers, promoting, in this way, a potential improvement of food safety and prevention of food poisoning. Factor
Before HACCP can be implemented, prerequisite programs (PRPs) such as good hygienic practices, staff training, and documented standard operating procedure should be well established.
Caterers are not qualified to identify the many hazards now present in their operations and they cannot be expected to produce their own individual HACCP plans.
HACCP can become a useful management tool, but, to succeed, it must be seen by chefs as useful and easy to apply. It must be recognised as a means to avoid problems as opposed to a defence mechanism in case things go wrong. The many hazards involved in producing food, together with the critical controls necessary to make sure it is safe, need to be documented.
HACCP's effectiveness relies on the knowledge and skills of both management and staff. The efficacy of the system relies heavily on the relevant HACCP knowledge and skills, management commitment, and understanding of HACCP along with changes in attitude and organizational culture - all requiring adequate training to overcome barriers related to human resources.
interplay of barriers at knowledge, attitude and behavioral levels could account for the problems in effective HACCP implementation.
The generated working definitions for the general barrier categories included: knowledge as a body of acquired facts; attitude as mental reaction to knowledge; and behaviour as the action taken as a result of knowledge acquisition and attitude development
Furthermore, there is an overwhelming range of practical and psychological barriers to the HACCP implementation in hospitality industry