Food safety culture in food companies: evaluation of the perception of food safety culture in three Tuscan food companies

Submitted: 14 November 2022
Accepted: 23 January 2023
Published: 8 March 2023
Abstract Views: 1683
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The Commission Regulation (EU) No. 2021/382 (European Commission, 2021), amending the Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 (European Commission, 2004), introduced the obligation for companies to establish and maintain a food safety culture (FSC). The methodology to evaluate, implement, and enhance the level of FSC is up to the individual companies. This study aimed to investigate the perception of FSC among the employees of 3 Tuscan medium-sized enterprises in the food sector, producing cured meat (A), dairy products (B), and frozen fish products (C). The survey was conducted through the development and administration of a questionnaire based on a 5 points Likert scale, referring to different aspects of FSC, organized in 6 sections with 5-6 statements each and subjected to a percentage of employees between 76 and 85%, classified also by the length of service (≤3 and >3 years). For all the companies, the minimum median and mode value for scores obtained by the different sections was 4, and the minimum median and mode value for the single statement was 3 (A, B; except for a bimodal value 2-4) and 4 (C). The section awareness and perception of risk showed the highest mean scores in all companies. As for the length of service, senior employees gave lower scores than junior ones in all sections in B and 3 sections in C. Overall, the results of the questionnaires showed a good perception of FSC, even though it was possible to identify some partial weaknesses.

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