Assuring good food handling practices in hospitality, financial costs and employees’ attitudes: A case study from Serbia
Foodborne diseases are a major threat in the hospitality and foodservice industry. Foodborne incidents registered away from home make up the majority of cases registered in different areas of the world. Since hotels, restaurants and other foodservice establishments are a last line of defence before the food reaches the consumer, the importance of food safety systems in these businesses is vital. Especially in hospitality, successful implementation and efficient application of the HACCP system largely depends on education and motivation of employees who manipulate food. This case study analysed the attitudes of managers and employees in charge of Food & Beverage operations in a corporate luxury hotel in Belgrade. The study showed, on average, the positive attitude of managers and employees towards the issues of food safety and their responsibility in its assurance. Moreover, employees demonstrated a generally high level of satisfaction with their work environment and work conditions and a moderate interest in education and training related to food safety. However, although a HACCP system was documented, the documentation was not systematized and verification of the system was not conducted as planned. Finally, there was no budget defined for food safety related issues such as education and training and external consultations. It is argued that financial costs of food safety, especially those related to education and training, should not be a cause for concern for hotel managers, since evidence from this research suggests they are not significantly impacting the overall food and beverage expenses.