Execution of food safety management systems helped reduce outbreaks in food catering in Singapore, according to a research study.
Nevertheless, reported food hygiene infractions did not change after they were applied. HACCP-based food security management systems (FSMS) were mandated in Singapore in June 2014 for all certified catering services.
Researchers investigated the results of FSMS implementation on foodborne disease outbreaks and reported health violations linked to food caterers utilizing a controlled interrupted time-series analysis. Outcomes were published in the journal Food Control
There were 42 foodborne break outs and 521 food health offenses associated with catering service establishments from 2012 to2018 Eighteen months after FSMS execution, researchers observed a 78.4 percent decline in the typical level of outbreaks at these sites however there was no significant impact on reported hygiene infractions.
Influence on break outs
Of these, almost 400 were food catering service establishments. Companies accredited before June 2014 were given 12 months to carry out FSMS while those licensed after June 2014 had to do so before they started food production operations.
Upon intro, uptake of FSMS increased by an average of 4.1 percent each month from June 2014 to November 2015, after which it plateaued at approximately 93.8 percent from December 2015 to December 2018.
There were 42 foodborne outbreak notifications connected to catering service facilities and 754 from non-catering food facilities from 2012 to 2018.
Utilizing the first design examining the impact of FSMS that left out the grace period and early duration of execution, researchers observed a 78.4 percent reduction in the average level of break outs from December 2015 to December 2018.
In the second design catching effects of FSMS in the grace duration and early stage of execution, there was a 65.1 percent decrease in the average level of break outs from June 2014 to December 2018.
” This suggests that the early phase of FSMS application might have had less affect on foodborne outbreaks. This might be due to the low uptake during the 12- month grace duration– FSMS uptake amongst lawfully bound facilities was lower than 50 percent during the very first 12 months of implementation,” said researchers.
There were no changes in reporting requirements for break outs, in food safety policies, or in trends reflected by non-food catering service facilities.
A take a look at health
Over the study period, there were 521 reported food health offenses and 9,484 health evaluations among food catering service establishments and 13,730 health violations and 830,690 health evaluations in non-catering food websites.
Researchers categorized 72 infractions as straight related to food health. The leading 3 infractions were: failure to keep the licensed premises clean; failure to keep the facilities devoid of infestation; and failure to register food handlers.
There was no proof of a considerable result of FSMS on the average rate of reported food hygiene infractions no matter the design. This was irregular with other studies that reported improvements in food safety following FSMS implementation.
” Poor execution of FSMS requirement programs in some food companies may have added to the continual pattern of reported offenses throughout the study period,” according to the research study report.” Our finding was non-significant, we did observe that reported food health violations in catering food service facilities reduced by practically a quarter after FSMS implementation.”
Researchers said the study offers evidence that lawfully mandated FSMS execution is an efficient food safety policy to minimize the risks of outbreaks related to the sector.
” Health authorities looking for to decrease outbreaks in food catering operations ought to consider mandating FSMS. Offered the significant resources needed to execute and sustain FSMS in food production, the expansion of FSMS application to different classifications and sizes of food facilities need to be tailored in order to optimize its efficiency.”
( To register for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click on this link)