Readers know I’m a fan of restaurant inspection disclosure results, and now, so is Finland.
Disclosure systems for official food safety inspection results have been introduced in many countries including Finland in order to increase compliance of food business operators (FBOs). Although the disclosure systems are intended to affect FBOs, few studies have been published on FBOs’ experiences of these systems.
To investigate FBOs’ opinions of disclosed food safety inspections in Finland, a questionnaire was distributed in 2016. The questionnaire study also aimed to recognize factors affecting compliance and disagreements about gradings with a special focus on FBOs’ risk perception. In total 1277 responses from FBOs in retail (n=523), service (n=507) and industry (n=247) sectors revealed that the majority of FBOs perceived the disclosure to promote correction of non-compliance. However, many FBOs disagreed with the grading of inspection findings.
Most common topics of disagreements were maintenance of premises, record-keeping of own-check plan and adequacy and suitability of premises for operations. Logistic regression analysis showed that the likelihood of occurrence of disagreements with grading was higher among those retail and service FBOs with a lower risk perception. Similarly, the occurrence of non-compliance was associated with FBOs’ risk perception in all sectors. Thus, FBOs need proper guidance on food safety risks. These results can be used to improve the efficacy of disclosed food safety inspections.
Food business operators’ opinions on disclosed food safety inspections and occurrence of disagreements with inspector grading, 05 June 2019