Safer Foods – "One Less Thing to Worry About" — Experiences from Food Safety Performance in the U.K.

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Foodborne infection is a major cause of illness and death worldwide. Regulations able to substantially reduce the number of recalls can improve the safety of the food supply and greatly impact public health. To date, the U.S. has used a voluntary recall system. This is a post-hazard, “repair when needed” strategy, which creates negative externalities upon the broader economy. This study considers an alternative ante-hazard, “prevention” monitoring solution - the Hygiene Assessment System (HAS), in place in the U.K. meat and poultry sector since 1997. This program allocates quantitative, science-based scores to every slaughterhouse /processing plant up to once a month. This poster presents a preliminary analysis of HAS. Statistical and time series assessments of HAS scores at various levels of aggregation (species, plant size, region, etc.) pre- and post-implementation of a HACCP-based regulation (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) are conducted. In the U.K., The Meat (HACCP) Regulations (2002) required plants to introduce procedures based on HACCP principles and to undertake microbiological checks in red meat plants. These regulations apply to the operators of licensed fresh meat and poultry slaughterhouses; cutting plants; cold stores; re-packaging and re-wrapping centers. Operators of small and medium sized plants had until June 7, 2003 to comply. With non-parametric statistics method, this poster presents HAS scores differ by plant size, business type (meat/poultry), plant location and pre- and post-HACCP.


Nonparametric statistics technique is used in this study.