Food safety in school catering in Hong Kong

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Food safety in school catering in Hong Kong

 

Author: Lam, Mei-ling Karen
Title: Food safety in school catering in Hong Kong
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2000
Subject: School lunchrooms, cafeterias, etc. -- China -- Hong Kong
Food handling -- Health aspects -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: x, 156 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1511576
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5212
Abstract: In the light of recent outbreaks of school meal poisoning in some primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong, it has been widely criticized that the health of school students was in jeopardy. The purpose of this research study was to examine the causes leading to current food safety shortfalls in Hong Kong's school catering. It was followed by making recommendations of practical and cost effective strategies to enhance food safety management. To attain this goal, a questionnaire-based survey was administered. A convenience sampling was applied to survey 27 clients, 30 managers and 30 employees of a school catering organization in Hong Kong. Descriptive analysis (paired t-test and independent t-test) was employed to rate the gaps that existed between the perceptions of importance and application of food safety measures from the various parties' perspectives. The specific objectives of this dissertation are: (1) to assess expectations and perceptions held by clients with respect to safety of school meals; (2) to assess expectations and perceptions held by school catering managers with respect to safety of school meals; (3) to assess expectations and perceptions held by school catering employees with respect of food safety of school meals; (4) to identify any divergence between managers' perceptions of clients' expectations and actual expectations of clients with respect to food safety of school meals; (5) to identify any divergence between managers' perceptions of clients' expectations and employees' perceptions of importance with respect to food safety of school meals; (6) to identify any divergence between employees' actual application and performance perceived by clients' with respect to food safety of school meals; and (7) to identify any divergence between clients' and managers' perceptions with respect to food safety management in school catering in Hong Kong. The empirical results showed that among the seven gaps, the Service Standards Gap (Gap 2) and Internal Evaluation Gap (Gap 7) were the two most critical gaps contributing to the extent of the Service Quality Gap (Gap 5) in the school catering organization examined in this study. The co-existence of negative score for the Understanding Gap (Gap 1) and positive score for the Service Delivery Gap (Gap 6) exposed the problem of school caterer in underestimating clients' expectations and at the same time, overestimating its own performance on food safety in meeting clients' perceptions. In conclusion, school catering management should pay extra effort in formulating effective food safety policy to close Gap 2, Gap 7, Gap 6, and Gap 1. Eventually the divergence of Gap 5 could be bridged. Together with the law enforcement and revised inspection focus with HACCP principles by the SAR Government, significant and effective improvement on food safety in the school catering industry could be made in the near future.

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