Food-borne diseases are important contributors to human morbidity and mortality, and result in a significant cost to the health care sector. Recent changes in eating habits, and the tendency for people to eat more of their meals outside of the home, only increase the risk posed by these illnesses. One method for improving the operation of restaurants draws from the experience of the food processing industry. It involves the introduction of a system of procedures based on Hazard Analysis and the identification and modification of Critical Control Points (HACCP).
This project evaluated a program that applied the principles of HACCP to the food service industry. It successfully demonstrated that among a subpopulation of restaurant operations such a program not only is acceptable, but capable of producing tangible results. Results also suggest that the principles and methods of the program (i.e., an initial assessment of the site, working with the operator to identify and suggest improvements, and return visits to monitor compliance) could be transferred to other types of food service operations.
Expected Impact of Project Outcomes on Food Safety in Ontario: Results of this project will be shared with public health units in the province, operators of food service premises, the provincial government and the public health community through presentations, reports and published articles.
This project will contribute to the food safety system in Ontario by evaluating how the application of HACCP principles can be applied successfully to the food service industry. The result will be an improved food safety intervention to benefit those at the local, provincial, federal levels of government as well as the food service industry itself.
<P> For more information, please visit the <a href="http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/research/foodsafety/index.html" target="_blank">Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Food Safety Research Program</a>.