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Food safety in small and medium hospitality enterprises in New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Health Science at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Present food safety legislation (Food Act 1981) has seen very few adjustments made over a period of more than 30 years. The need for food safety is unquestionable, and legislation is essential for the maintenance of healthy standards in food preparation. Small and medium enterprises find it challenging to meet the required food safety standards as most proprietors work extremely long hours just to remain viable. Their staff’s levels of training and trade knowledge are, due to minimum wages and unsociable hours worked, often insufficient and their employment is not seen as a career path. Any extra work load to be completed by management in filling in forms as part of a food control or food safety plans may be unmanageable. This study investigates the feasibility of food safety legislation and its implementation in small to medium enterprises in the hospitality industry – a study guided and influenced by the researcher’s lifelong association with the hospitality industry.
This study explores food safety and its origins across the world. Carefully worded interviews and surveys with experts, who were either working in, or had close relationships with the Hospitality Industry, were used to question how the proposed legislation would affect them, and could affect those in small and medium enterprises.
Two surveys were undertaken over a period of three years. The results from both of these surveys indicated that it is likely that the greater majority of small to medium enterprises’ management and staff do not possess sufficient knowledge to comply with the proposed standards of the legislation and the documentation needed.