In theory an employer must eliminate risks, or if not control them to the fullest extent possible. In the fast food industry there are certain regulations that are intended to eliminate the risk of bad food quality but these regulations do not eliminate the ability of a fast food outlet to produce food that is harmful to those who consume it. For example the Food Act (2003) and the Food Regulation Act (2004), that cover issues such as food standards and handling operations (The Hills Shire Council, 2009, website) There are two sections needed for successful OHS management in the fast food industry; the appropriate procedures in place and the implementation of them by employees and management.
KFC headquarters would have strict policies and practices in place but if management and the employees do not abide by them then they are useless. The hierarchy of control highlights the best option for risk control being elimination. Elimination is the entire removal of hazards hence there being no risk on health and safety. If elimination cannot be achieved measures should be taken to minimise or control the risk. These include substitution, isolation, engineering, administration and personal protective equipment. Substitution is the use of less hazardous process, plant or substance. Isolation is to separate hazard from the person at risk with distance or time. Engineering is such examples as guards or changing work design.
Administration is the organisation of safer work practices, provide training and supervision of OHS. PPE should only be used as a last resort in measures to minimise risk (OHS Risk Management Handout, 2009). KFC upper management would have a solid procedure in place for managing food quality however; due to the recent issues in their outlets a review of the procedure is needed. The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a popular 7 step method that food related industries use to eliminate risks of poor food quality.
KFC is a massively successful organisation and would clearly have policies in place like this to eliminate the occurrence of food quality issues. Therefore the problem must lie within management’s supervision of the OHS and the employee’s motivation to abide by the procedures. This issue should use administration to minimise the risk. This involves organising safer work practices, providing training, instruction and supervision of OHS practices. The most prominent point here is the instruction and supervision by management. The KFC line managers or duty managers are important is ensuring that all work practices are safe in the preparation and serving of the food in their restaurants. Workers in fast food chains are often younger, have lower literacy rates, less motivated, earn less money and are less experienced therefore they posses less attention and knowledge of safety (Stellman, 1998, p. 8. 2). This reinforces the fact that line managers play an essential role in enforcing safety is controlled in the KFC kitchens. Colleen discusses how safety in food is heavily focused on manager’s role in motivating employees to abide by safety standards.
Through looking into the demographics of the workers in fast food chains and the attitudes they posses towards safety, the use of supervisors is critical in maintaining health and safety in the KFC kitchen. If these supervisors can abide by the 6 measures of motivation above then safety will become much more evident. These motivational tools should be used in combination with the 7 step HACCP process as well as procedures KFC would already have in place such as; induction training, refresher training, record keeping and random health checks.
The Hills District Council, (2009), Health and Safety Standards, Food Regulations, www. ustlii. edu. au/au/legis/ Colleen. B, (2009), Supervisors Critical in Retail Food Safety, www. foodquality. com/mag/ Hollera. E, (1999), Private Incentives for Adopting Food Safety and Quality Assurance, Vol. 24, Iss. 6, p. 669-683 Amankwa. P, (1999), Food Research Institute, ‘Quality and Process Control in the Food Industry’ (Whole Article) Stellman. J. M, (2004), Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety, 4th Edition, Vol. 3, p. 98. 2-98. 4 News. com. au, (2009), ‘KFC stores at Hurstville and Miranda fined $73,000 for poor hygiene’, 12/3/09 Mealey. L, (2009), About. com: Restaurant, ‘Food Safety Rules and Regulations’
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