Executive Summary


People have the right to expect the food they eat to be safe and suitable for consumption. Foodborne illness and foodborne injury are at best unpleasant; at worst they can be fatal. But there are also other consequences. Outbreaks of foodborne illness can damage tourism, and lead to loss of earnings, brand discrimination and litigations. Food spoilage is wasteful, costly and can affect consumer confidence. Eating habits have undergone major changes and therefore an effective hygiene control is vital to avoid the adverse human health and economic consequences of foodborne illness.

The goal of this paper is to provide not only the hotelier with an advanced hygiene programme but in the mean time to search for possible shortcomings towards the consumer. The SERVQUAL method is used to identify customerís expectations.

The hygiene conscious establishment programme has been developed by the SGS group and is already in practices in major parts of the world. The outcome of this paper should point out if hoteliers have a good reason to apply this system or just to continue with other competitors. In other words, does the HCE programme provide a competitive advantage and is the Dutch hospitality industry waiting for it?

A first part has been written in order to understand and prove the legal necessity for hoteliers to apply a food safety system. It shows the reader the complex interaction between the World Health Organization, The European Community and the National Dutch Authority. Besides the legal prove, it shows that the general principles described in the Codex Alimentarius are laying a firm foundation for ensuring food hygiene.  The controls described in this document are internationally recognized as essential to ensure the safety and suitability of food for consumption. Reason more to find out if the Dutch population is first of all satisfied with the actual hygiene controls and second of all if they believe the food handling businesses & authorities.

The second part is fieldwork based and is analysing the existence of HACCP, GMP and SOP systems. This was done by interviews and a questionnaire, which was sent to approximately 1500 hotels for the Dutch market, offering food & beverage services. Divided in three different sections it shows the existent knowledge of hoteliers concerning HACCP norms, the need to promote a food safety programme to the consumers and a third part to see if tools such as Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Good Managerial Practice (GMP) are in place.




Last updated: 15.11.2001

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