PhD defence

Influence of food safety culture on food handler behaviour and food safety performance offood processing organisations


Food safety continues to be a challenge in many food companies especially in emerging economies, which are confronted with multiple issues in both the internal and external company environment. Taking food safety culture into account is therefore a promising way to improve food safety performance in the food industry. The PhD research, therefore, focused on understanding how an organisation’s food safety culture influences food handler behaviour and food safety performance. Findings revealed that numerous factors transcending different disciplines are interlinked and as such a systems approach is required to assess an organisation’s food safety culture. Moreover, results showed that a mixed-methods approach is suitable in food safety culture assessments due to the method triangulation, which could potentially increase the validity of research findings. Results also indicated that the internal and external company environment seemed to influence the prevailing food safety culture as both were reflected in the food safety programs and supportiveness of the organisation to food safety and hygiene.