Consistency and risk-basis of using administrative enforcement measures in local food control

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/308937

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Kettunen , K , Pesonen , S , Lunden , J & Nevas , M 2018 , ' Consistency and risk-basis of using administrative enforcement measures in local food control ' , Food Control , vol. 85 , pp. 199-211 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2017.09.023

Title: Consistency and risk-basis of using administrative enforcement measures in local food control
Author: Kettunen, Karoliina; Pesonen, Susanna; Lunden, Janne; Nevas, Mari
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Food Hygiene and Environmental Health
University of Helsinki, Departments of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
University of Helsinki, Departments of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Date: 2018-03
Language: eng
Number of pages: 13
Belongs to series: Food Control
ISSN: 0956-7135
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/308937
Abstract: Consistency and risk-basis are core elements of effective enforcement of food safety legislation. In Finland, inspections of food retail premises have been conducted since 2013 based on new national guidelines for evaluation and grading. According to the guidelines, food control authorities should initiate an administrative enforcement process to ensure compliance if the food business operator (FBO) is given the poorest grade in the inspection. In this study, we examined the consistency within and between local food control units on the threshold of initiating an enforcement process. The study was conducted through an analysis of inspection reports of FBOs and by an electronic survey and interviews of local food control officials. The results reveal that most officials consider the national evaluation guidelines as helpful in improving the consistency of using enforcement measures. However, inconsistencies exist between and within the local food control units in the alignments of initiating an enforcement process. Enforcement measures are mainly used on a risk-basis and gradually, as in most enforcement cases the FBO had multiple non-compliances and the FBO had been given a prior request to correct the non-compliance before initiating an enforcement process. The results, however, revealed rather weak compliance and repeated violations among some FBOs. Based on the observed persistence of non -compliances and the efficacy of enforcement measures in inducing compliance, a lower threshold of initiating an enforcement process towards FBOs with repeated violations appears beneficial in enhancing the correction of violations. Increasing the consistency of the enforcement process begins with unifying the practices within the local food control units by establishing clear procedures for enforcement and ensuring adequate orientation of personnel. Further strengthening of cooperation, peer-review and discussion on interpretations of required control actions between the units is needed for nationally consistent implementation of the evaluation and disclosure system and use of enforcement measures. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Subject: Official food control
Administrative enforcement measures
Consistency
Risk-basis
Non-compliance
HYGIENE KNOWLEDGE
OUTBREAK RESTAURANTS
FOODBORNE DISEASE
SAFETY
HANDLERS
BUSINESSES
FINLAND
HEALTH
ESTABLISHMENTS
INFORMATION
416 Food Science
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