Research: Hygiene and Food

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Question 1. Identify cultural factors that might be important in a training program me for food handlers at McDonald’s in Saudi Arabia.

Answer1. Cultural factors that might be important in a training program for food handlers at McDonald’s in Saudi Arabia are as below:

FACTORS  AFFECTING FOOD  HANDLERS BEHAVIOR

1.FOOD HANDLERS AS INDIVIDUAL.
-learning.
-motivation.
-attitude
-self
-personality
-perception
-risk
-abilities
-control.
-susceptibility
-serenity.

2. FOOD HANDLERS IN SOCIAL AND CULTURAL SETTING.
-work status
-work norms
-leadership
-income /social class
-ethnicity
-religious belief
-age
-life style
-family
-peer

3.EXTERNAL STIMULI.
-food  poisoning
-advertising
-legislation

STRATEGY FOR HEALTH SURVEILLANCE OF FOOD HANDLERS
The following principles should be applied as part of a strategy:

-management commitment;
- education and training;
- health interviews;
- reporting illness to management;
- applying basic food handling practices; and
- applying basic personal hygiene practices.

These principles can only succeed in promoting a high standard of safe food handling if applied and accepted in an open and trusting manner by all the parties concerned, namely, employers and employees. Mutual understanding and trust between management and food handling employees form the basis of a safe food handling strategy.

1. MANAGEMENT COMMITMENT
The hygiene of food is the responsibility of management and can at no point be delegated to food handlers. Management commitment to the following is essential: - a program me of optimum hygiene covering all aspects of food handling. Vigilant and competent supervision in this respect is vital;

- open discussion and reporting of hygiene problems by employees and quick response with corrective measures;
- reassurance that food handlers will not suffer loss of pay or their jobs if they report symptoms such as diarrhea or infected skin lesions;
- employment of technical experts to advise on hygiene;
- creating optimum hygiene conditions and practices and the regular upgrading thereof; - implementation of quality control programmes;

- Responding to consumer complaints regarding hygiene in a professional and responsible manner;
- implementation of an occupational health programme for improving working conditions and increasing product reliability;
- mutual trust should be developed amongst employees in order to support each other to maintain maximum hygiene levels. To create this, food handlers should be empowered to be part of the evaluation process regarding hygiene standards.

2. EDUCATION AND TRAINING
The following aspects are important:
- Health authorities must accept that the education and training of food handlers are also part of their responsibility and should ensure that appropriate programmes receive their attention;
- Education and training of food handlers are vital elements of food safety programmes; - Practical and functional educational methods and aids should be used, especially with regard to street vendors. Language and other cultural factors should be taken into account;

- All employees must know and understand the basic principles of food safety and their own responsibility in this respect;
- Managers must be aware that employees who have gastroenteritis or open skin lesions must stay away from work or be prohibited from handling food while symptoms persist; - Food handlers should receive instruction in food safety and personal hygiene and should be required to undergo a test of their knowledge of the subject; - Refresher courses should be given periodically;

Particular attention should be given to the need to report illness by food handlers as soon as it occurs; - Education programmes must take literacy and educational standards of food handlers into consideration; - Education and training programmes to be conducted by properly –trained personnel; and - Education...
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