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The research was aimed at collecting information on food safety knowledge by operators of small and less developed food businesses. This will allow to reveal what are the real drawbacks in HACCP application in these realities. Fifty meat producing plants located in Piedmont region were involved. In all the plants a questionnaire with questions on HACCP system was submitted. The analysis of the collected answers, evidenced that 42% of the operators needed to perform structural modifications in order to address the HACCP measures, whereas 40% applied modifications in working procedures. The most frequent shortcoming (44% of the answers) of the HACCP system was represented by the applicability of Good Manufacturing Practices, and the most difficult control measure to be applied was the prevention of the cross-contaminations (40% of the answers). The information gathered within this project allowed to evidence the real needs of the micro businesses in the application of HACCP plan. These results can be useful for the institutions, which could elaborate HACCP alternative systems, able to better fulfil food safety requirements and Food Business Operator needs.
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