This is a solution of health Safety hospitality industry assignment, in which we discuss, human health and his safety by the hospitality industries.
Statistics suggest that the rate of food poisoning has been increasing continously since 1987 and the forecast is not looking any better. Even though there have been many regulations to avoid problems in the health sector, still the numbers are always on a rise. Government has been trying to reduce such cases by means of Food and Safety Act 1990. Some of the examples are hygiene Management Control systems like Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points in the hospitality industry (James, 1998). Food Standards Agency has also been formed which takes care of various complaints from the public. It has been seen that a major chunk of the complaints comes from the hospitality industry which is responsible for more than 40 percent of the dieseases reported all over the world. Therefore, in order to reduce and reverse the trend it has to be the first industry which the experts have to focus on. There has been a consious effort from the hospitality industry to improve the situation and there have been several initiatives that have been designed to reverse the trend. One of the major changes that the industry saw was the cultural and mindset change that took place where the officers took up an educational role rather than the conventional role of enforcing things (Anon, 1997 b).
Hospitality Industry and Food Safety: Analysis
It is seen that there has been a lot of emphasis on the healthcare sector these days and every government has been pushing this issue up their priority lists. There has been a budding relationship between the hospitality industry and the environmental health section, but there a many issues that are there to be resolved between these departments. Earlier the relationship between the two departments has been very rough which is demonstrated in a sarcastic manner in the book the Mad Officials (Booker, North, 1994). But over the past few years there has been tremendous improvement in the number of notices served and the actions taken by the authorities. But neverthless the signs are positive given the regulatory control that the government enforces on these issues.
The main issue that need immediate attention of the healthcare and hospitality sector is that in many cases, rules and regulations are not followed strictly or consistantly. If there is no consistency in the enforcement of the law then, there is every chance that doubts would be raised about the overall transparency in the process. Another major issue that needs to be addressed is the level of awareness about the legislation among the employees. There are very little steps in this front and many employees are not aware of the basic laws let alone the updates that are happening in the industry. There is very little communication between the employees in this sector which has resulted furthering the cause showing poor communication strategy from the management. There has been many operational issues which is not handled well and due to the lack of the communication channels the teams have been working in silos and any new implementation plan does not reach its required objective just because the team members are not clear about the plan of action.
Laws And its Enforcement
One of the most developed economies US haveen very strict in terms of the regulations on Food Safety. But the same intensity is seen to be lackin in case of other countries especially the developed ones. There have beeen harsh measures taken in US to set an example to the public that the government actually cares for the people and no such crimes would be let off. This was seen in the case of raw milk which was overpriced which came under the scanner and was severly dealt with. Adulteration is area that needs to be dealt with harshly but sadly in many countries there are political nexus with the majors in the industry letting them scot free after adulteration process (Anon, 1997 b). There have been strigent processes in place to check the quaality of meat especially after the spread of many new dieseses and the looming threat of a biological attack in the country. One of the positive signs are that the number of reported cases of food poisoning in the developed countries are on a fall and the number of petitions and the actions taken have risen. The investigative capacity would remain almost the same making an acute staff shortage in the department. This is one area the government have to address. The case is no different in other countries as there is a shortage of talented manpower in almost all the nations.
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Building Values into the Food Chain
Providing food for all has been one of the issues that all the developing and underdeveloped countries are facing. But one thing that many of these governments miss is that when they make plans to eradicate poverty by trying to provide food to the needy, they often ignore the quality of the food that they provide. There are regulations in place in almost all the countries regarding the food and nutrition norms but sadly there are no measures in following the same. The situation looks grave in the South East Asian countries especially because it has more than two thirds of the malnutrrished people according to the figures of WHO. Governments turn a blind eye towrds such issues and the programs just gets reduced to plans that are never being implemented (James, 1998).
Another major cause of conccern is the fact that even though there has been budget allocation to ensure better quality of food in many countries, the amount that ultimately reaches the bottom of the pyramid is minimal. Ensuring transparency in such operations is very important in making thes plans successful. Governments needs to be pro active in such issues and unless and untill there is a will shown by the top officials these issues would always be pushed down the priority lists. Training has to take place from the grass root level itself as they are the people who are handling the daily issues. Now training in case of food safety and nutrition is just limited to having a couple of national or international seminars but grass root level training is never done and this has resulted in employees being ignorant about the changes that are taking place in this sector (Kvanli, A. 1989).
The trap lies in the fact that the government while addressing thes issues still follow the maens by which they commincate to the middle and upper middle class but the problem actually lies in the bottom of the pyramid. They have to effectively make use of the regional languages and communicate in simple language. Use of jargons and terms have actually made things complex for these managers in making their employees and the common public understand various aspects of this issue. There is a need of innovation in this industry as many of the practices followed have become obsolete and as any other industry this one also needs a definite makeover. It is only by streamlining various processes and innovating the existing practices; it can be made cost effective which is very important for the widespread reach of the program. There needs to be a multi pronged strategy to attack this (Booker, North, 1994).
The situation is entirely different in the middle class levels, where the hospitality industry which includes restaurents is trying to woo the customers by heeding to their requests for healthy and hygenic food. There is an upward rise in the number of health consious public who ensure thaat the food that they have is hygenic in nature. But there are several cases where it has been noted that the efforts that these restaurents puts in is perpheral without actually addressing the core issues. In many cases they are cosmetic in nature just to trick the customers. There have been many issues regarding consistancy in sourcing of the materials required in the industry. There are no safety norms to ensure that the materials that are used everyday maintain a certain level of consistancy (Kvanli, 1989). Another main issue is maintaning the freshness of food all across the supply chain. For this to happen in reality, the supply chain has to be reactive and this would push up the costs further. This is where government have to support the industry by giving susidies and sops so that the pricing does not saor up high making it difficult for the common man to afford. It becomes extremely difficult for the owners also to maintain a balance between good prices and tahe same time ensure quality as per the quality norms specified. They have to operate within a very tight range and this has ultimately resulted in the integration of the locally produced foods into the supply chain. Eventhough this has resulted in a lesser price pressure, but the companies are finding it difficult to maintain the quality standards. (Read more about : MIS Application Implementation Assignment)
- Anon (1997a), “Bacterial food poisoning”, The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), No. 101, July,
- Anon (1997 b), Food Control Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF), 1991-1996.
- Booker, C. and North, R. (1994), The Mad Officials, Constable, London.
- James, P. (1998), The Food Standards Agency: A Force for Change, HMSO.
- Kvanli, A. (1989), Introduction to Business Statistics, 2nd, West Publishing Company, St Paul, MN.
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