Behind the Closed Doors: Performance Assessment of Food Safety Management Systems in Five-Star Hotels in Egypt

Document Type : Original Article



The metamorphosing environment wherein hotels operate and the growing requirements for food safety have prompted hotels to critically assess and improve their food safety management systems (FSMS) and its performance. This study aims to analyze and assess the performance of FSMS applied in five-star hotels in Egypt through a diagnostic instrument that specifically designed for this purpose. The diagnostic instrument included a detailed checklist to assess contextual riskiness characteristics, core control and assurance activities, and overall performance of the FSMS. The assessment of twenty-five hotels revealed that all deal with high-risk raw materials, have non-supportive organizational conditions, are at a frail position with suppliers, and adapted differently their FSMS to their moderate-risk context. Hierarchical cluster analysis showed three clusters of hotels differing in their FSMS activities levels. The largest cluster showed a marginal performance level which is expected to be insufficient for achieving good food safety outputs given the riskiness of their context. However, a few hotels in this cluster operated at an advanced level and achieved good food safety outcomes. In the second cluster, a limited number of hotels achieved an overall rating ranging from satisfactory to outstanding for the core control activities. The vast majority of this cluster had a satisfactory assessment for the core assurance activities, which seems to be appropriate for the moderate-risk context wherein they have to manage. Like for the third cluster, the majority of the hotels showed overall satisfactory scores for the core control and assurance activities. These findings can support hotels in creating the basis for future improvements


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