[ 21st May 2019 by Allam Ahmed 0 Comments ]

H. Y. Hassan “The effect of food safety culture on reducing food borne illness rates”

Hisham Yousif Hassan, Food Safety and International Food Law Consultant, Canada

Purpose: The aim of this paper is to tackle the rapid increase in food borne illness rates. Throughout the history of humans, there have always been obstacles and challenges facing mankind; wars, starvation, and of course outbreaks. Food borne outbreaks are considered one of the major causes of death and hospitalization even in the most developed countries.  According to USDA’s statistics; the annual cost of food-borne illness in the U.S is more than $15.6 billion; also, there is around 2,700 deaths in the United States every year are due to food poisoning, 8.9 million American get sick, over 53,000 of them are hospitalized [1].

Design/methodology/approach: There is a strong link between human activities behavior and the occurrence and spread of diseases. Human activities play a crucial role on defying the nature and the magnitude of food outbreaks. All food products are produced, processed, transported, stored, and sold by humans. Food safety culture is a collection of principles and morals of an organization with respect to food safety OR as defined by the British Health and Safety Commission: “the product of an individual and group values, attitudes competencies and patterns of behaviour that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of an organization’s Health and Safety program.” [2]

Results/Findings: There are five known factors that would influence food safety culture: • Leadership, • Two-way communication, • Employee involvement, • Learning culture, • Attitude towards blame [3].  We can-for the most part- manage the safety of food and decrease the number of food-borne illness cases by monitoring and developing human behavior; steering it to the desired direction.

Originality/Value: Studying human behavior towards food safety has many values and benefits. It can help governments to design better human development strategies, increase the efficiency of funded projects and cut costs associated with public health. Changing our behavior towards food safety and Shedding light on factors affecting food safety culture would certainly pave a path for a healthy community.

Keywords: Food safety culture; human behavior; food safety; public health; food-borne illness

[1] www.foodsafetynews.com.
[2] Health and Safety commission, 1993.
[3] www.hse.gov.uk.

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