Project: How to Improve Food Safety in a Supermarket

Completed but not published

This project was submitted on 30/01/2014

The aim of this project was to improve food safety in supermarkets, using two objectives:

•To improve food safety through training and verify its effectiveness
•To improve the cleaning programme and verify its effectiveness

Ireland has a diverse range of food legislation enforced by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. However, in 2011 sixty-six food businesses in Ireland were served closure orders for breaches in food safety legislation; that is the highest figure since the FSAI was established and a 12% increase from 2010. This increase, combined with the author’s job as a Food Safety Champion in a supermarket led to the choosing of this topic.

In order to fulfil the objectives of this study a literary review and a quantitative method of research was carried out. The literary review included Irish and EU food safety legislation, particularly for supermarkets in Ireland. Quantitative research was in the form of questionnaires and quizzes, which were distributed among food handlers in a SuperValu store; this was done to view perception and effectiveness of current training methods.

Using the data gathered through the research, improved training tools were developed. Food safety quizzes, cleaning swabs and audits were used to test the effectiveness of the improved training programme.

The results proved positive, the number of correct answers in the quizzes increased in every instance after the improved training. Cleaning swabs displayed an improvement and the score of the audit improved every month throughout the study.

The findings of this study highlighted the gap in literature when it comes to specifics of food safety training, most notably regarding the effectiveness of training programmes and the frequency of refresher training.

The author concluded that more emphasis should be placed on site specific training programmes throughout supermarkets, which will in turn improve food safety within this sector.

Training and education
Food and Drink

Organisation: Athlone Institute of Technology

Dublin Road,
Co Westmeath,
+ 353 (0)90 646 8000

Principal Investigator: Rachel Beirne

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Institution of Occupational Safety and Health
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