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Food certification audits : a case study in the Western Cape
Valentine, Lucrecia Zinobia
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While there is a standard for quality and environmental auditors, there is no local or international standard for food safety auditing, which means auditors from different certification bodies can use their own discretion when auditing food establishments. There is a requirement to investigate the quality of work performed by South African food safety auditors. in order to establish whether they do in fact add value when conducting registration and certification audits. This is also an indication of the importance of improving and maintaining a high standard of food safety in the food services industry. The overall concept of food safety in South Africa IS clearly not defined. understood by only a few consumers, and not widely accepted. Research has shown that food retailers in South Africa in general do not believe food safety auditors are competent. In the wake of the Sudan Red scare two years ago. a long awaited food safety initiative was launched in February 2006. The scare pertaining to a carcinogenic food dye. which found its way into spices on local supermarket shelves, mobilized food industry role players to improve food safety standards. Under the auspices of the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA), the body responsible for establishing best practices and implementation standards, Food Safety South Africa (FSSA) will enable an organization to determine the exact nature and extent of possible and actual problems along the food supply chain. The key objectives of this research study are to determine whether one food certification standard is needed in South Africa and to assess the value added by the food auditors to their clients. Social research will be conducted within the ambit of the dissertation, with case study serving as research method. Both quantitative and qualitative research paradigms will be used to gather data for the research survey in support of the research question. forming the crux of the dissertation which reads as follow: "How can food safety auditors increase value added to the audit process in food environments in South Africa?"
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