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Identification of Small Food Businesses' Proposed Alternative Measures to the Separate use of Complex Equipment

Institutions
Policy Studies Institute
Start date
2013
End date
2013
Objective
The aims of the research are to:
  • identify alternative controls to the separate use of complex equipment. Such proposals of alternative controls should outline clearly the rationale for and evidence to support the proposal and an outline of how the alternative controls are deemed to be equally effective in controlling the risk from E.coli O157
  • assess and evaluate whether these are suitable to be taken forward for testing

The approach comprises five phases:

Phase 1: Documentation review.

Phase 2: Telephone survey of 50 stakeholders: to identify proposals for alternative controls to the separate use of complex equipment in effectively controlling the risk from E.coli O157; to ascertain the rationale for suggested alternatives; and to gather any evidence of the effectiveness of alternative controls.

Phase 3: Short telephone survey of small and micro food businesses to identify: current practices in relation to the use of complex equipment; alternative practices to non-dual use; disinfectant processes and products; justification for ‘alternative’ practices; perceived challenges associated with the E.coli O157 guidance.

Phase 4: Case studies of ‘alternative’ controls in practice.

Phase 5: Synthesis, analysis and evaluation of evidence of suggested suitable alternative controls.

More information

Background: Following E.coli O157 outbreaks in Scotland (1996) and Wales (2005), the FSA developed and disseminated new guidance to increase recognition of the threat that E.coli O157 poses to public health and the need for stringent measures to control the cross-contamination risks. An evaluation of the guidance was conducted in 2012. The FSA is following up this evaluation with a review of whether alternative controls to cross-contamination are viable (although the FSA remains committed to the position that the dual use of complex equipment for raw and ‘ready-to-eat food’ cannot be regarded as safe practice). Small businesses are a key focus for this investigation as they have been identified as facing particular challenges in relation to non-dual use of complex equipment. The current piece of research seeks to identify small food business’ proposed alternative controls – a follow up stage of research will subject these proposed alternative controls to laboratory testing.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project source
View this project
Project number
FS615017A
Categories
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication
Bacterial Pathogens
Prevention and Control