Charalambous, Marianna (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Implementation of food safety programmes has been difficult for small and medium sized companies (SMEs) in Cyprus, taking into consideration specific practises witnessed as common place amongst Cypriot food producers. SMEs tend to have a poor understanding of food management systems and limited adoption and implementation. The requirement for full food management implementation and the replacement of the national standards by the new ISO22000 in 2006 placed an even greater burden on these businesses.
The aim of this project is to compare food safety and hygiene before, during, and after implementation of food management systems assessing whether the implementation of food management systems in SMEs in Cyprus improves the hygiene and compliance with food safety requirements. A questionnaire survey was made of 50 SMEs (food industry sector) and an audit process was carried out, in companies that had not started the implementation of food management systems but intended to do so. Follow-up audits to the premises observed the process and the operatives to determine any changes to the level of food safety and hygiene. A benchmarking audit was carried out before, during, and after implementation of the system, and each company was rated. Results show that most respondents encountered many problems in applying and maintaining food management systems. Even if food management systems were applied, businesses did not alter their daily practices in a significant way.
To conclude, in order for small food enterprises to have in place workable food management systems, a generic, simple, and flexible food management system must exist. In addition, each enterprise has its own application limit regarding the complexity of the system. When this limit is exceeded negative results appear for the enterprise.
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