DOI: 10.1111/ijfs.16851 ISSN: 0950-5423

Food safety culture and climate prevailing in micro and small food manufacturing enterprises in Mauritius and Rodrigues

Aishah B. Z. Joomun, Carol A. Wallace, Badroonesha Aumjaud, Deena Ramful‐Baboolall
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Food Science


Food safety culture and climate are strong elements of food safety performance. This study describes a mixed‐methods approach to assess prevailing food safety knowledge, attitudes, practices, culture and climate in micro and small food manufacturing businesses in Mauritius. The approach included participant observation, questionnaire‐based surveys and checklists, and was adopted to collect data from six managers/owners and thirty‐six employees in six businesses. Results showed that food handlers had satisfactory knowledge in some aspects of food hygiene and safety. Mean scores of specific food safety climate indicators for employees diverged from the corresponding values for managers. Inconsistencies were observed in food safety culture maturity scores computed from survey data (quantitative), which were higher than related scores obtained from participatory observation (qualitative). This discrepancy underlines the importance of triangulation methods and the necessity to establish appropriate weightings for data obtained from different methods to gain an overall assessment of food safety culture. The results provide concrete input to develop tailor‐made interventions to improve knowledge, attitudes and practices of employees and managers, and promote positive food safety cultures. Further research is needed to design theory‐based interventions to improve food safety culture and interpretation grids to analyse and triangulate prevailing food safety culture data.

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