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Browsing by Subject "food control"

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  • Bäckman, Hanna (University of HelsinkiHelsingin yliopistoHelsingfors universitet, 2007)
    The Purpose of the Finnish Hygiene Act (The Act on Food Hygiene of Foodstuff of Animal Origin 1195/1996), which was in force until the beginning of March 2006, was to ensure the hygienic quality of foodstuffs of animal origin and prevent the spread of infections from animals to humans via foodstuffs. The Hygiene Act applied to handling, hygienic quality requirements and inspections prior to retail of foodstuff of animal origin. The aim of official food control is to ensure that establishments fulfil the requirements imposed on them by the legislation. According to The Hygiene Act, abattoirs and establishments connected to them were controlled by an official veterinarian working for The National Food Agency, and other establishments controlled by the municipal authorities. Each municipality or federation of municipality was responsible for the official control in its own region. The inspection frequencies depended on the type of establishment, but all establishments had to be inspected regularly. The purpose of this study was to investigate how official control was perceived in establishments covered by the Hygiene Act in terms of effects and congruence of the official control and guidance received from the authorities. The aim was also to investigate the influence of control frequency on perceptions on effects, congruence and guidance. The research was performed in spring 2006 using a questionnaire, which was issued to all establishments in meat branch, establishments handling fishery products, dairy plants, egg packing centres and warehouses of foodstuffs of animal origin registered as approved establishments by The National Food Agency in 2005. 459 answers were received, which was 36 % of the questionnaires sent. The results show that the food control had improved the hygiene of the establishments according to the perceptions of the establishments. Product safety was considered to be improved by the official control more in small and medium-sized establishments than in large establishments. EU-establishments in meat branch have made more changes to their production processes and line of production due to food control than other types of establishments. Approximately one half of the respondents were unable to provide a view on congruence of official control. Incongruence was experienced most frequently in low-capacity slaughterhouses. High inspection frequency was found to be connected to the experience of incongruence. The higher the inspection frequency, the higher was the perceived incongruence of official control. Most establishments were satisfied with the amount of guidance concerning the legislation they had been given by the official inspector. However, more guidance was needed on the planning of the own-check, construction of production facilities, expansion and repair of production facilities and correction of the shortcomings found during inspections. The frequency of inspections was also found to have an effect on perceived benefit of official control. The more frequent the control inspections performed by the municipal control authorities were, the higher was the perceived positive impact on hygiene.
  • Tulokas, Anu (University of HelsinkiHelsingin yliopistoHelsingfors universitet, 2004)
    The objective of the Finnish Hygiene Act (The Act on Food Hygiene of Foodstuffs of Animal Origin 1195/1996) is to ensure the hygienic quality of foodstuffs of animal origin and prevent the spread of infections from animals to humans via foodstuffs. The Act applies to the handling of foodstuffs of animal origin, hygienic quality requirements, control and inspections prior to retail. It also applies in first destinations to the control and inspections of foodstuffs of animal origin imported to Finland from another member state of the European Union. EU approved establishment, i.e. plant according to the Hygiene Act, is a facility or building where foodstuffs of animal origin are manufactured, stored or handled. The Hygiene Act obliges the plants to draw up and implement an own-check system to help make sure that any shortcomings in terms of the food hygiene are prevented. The own-check system consists of an own-check plan and implementation of the plan. The own-check plan is composed of written own-check programmes and working instructions covering all premises and functions of the plant. The implementation of the own-check plan includes bookkeeping of the implementation. The plant has to make sure that the own-check system is up to date, in accordance with legislation and functional. According to the Hygiene Act, the approval of the plants and their own-check systems as well as management of the control and inspections is assigned to the municipal control authorities with the exception of slaughterhouses and adjacent plants. According to the National Food Agency's instructions municipalities send the control results of each plant on a specific assessment form to the State Provincial Offices at least once a year. In this study the control results of the plants and their own-check systems were analysed. Municipal officials had assessed the level of own-check in EU-approved establishments other than slaughterhouses to be between good and fair in 2002. Assessments had been made in 366 plants (29 %) out of 1267. Assessments from the province of Åland were not included in this study. There were significant differences in the assessments between provincial districts and between certain types of establishments. The differences between districts indicate that the official control of the plants may not have been acceptably uniform thoughout Finland. Own-check had been assessed to be significantly better in dairy plants than in plants handling meat or fish products. In addition, results of this study indicate that EU approved establishments follow their own-check plans, for there were no significant differences in the assessments between the own-check programmes and the corresponding implementations.