This paper reports the first stage of work being undertaken to understand the factors that have impacted on the current state of food safety in the UK food manufacturing sector. The paper first explores developments in international food safety regulation in general and in particular, the UK. Using a survey and case study methodology, the paper examines the response of food manufacturing enterprises to food safety regulation, and uses statistical techniques to investigate the effects of enterprise size on the drivers for, benefits of, and challenges to compliance. Further, the factors that influence the successful implementation of an integrated food safety management system are also examined. The results show a great deal of both statutory and private regulation that has incentivised enterprises. In response, enterprises have implemented integrated food safety management systems to proactively deal with the risks associated with food safety, however, enterprises claim that statutory regulations are biased towards consumers, without adequate impact assessments on all stakeholders within the chain, and hence causing industry to incur significant costs that could otherwise be avoided. Even though compliance with food safety regulation is burdensome, the cost of non-compliance will also be significant to enterprises. The findings also show that there is no significant effect of size of enterprise on the drivers, benefits and challenges to compliance with food safety regulation. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
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