Monday, November 24, 2008

USDA grant finances cost-benefit
assessment of HACCP

Dr. Amit Sharma, assistant professor of hospitality management at Penn State University, received a grant of $555,819 over three years from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a cost-benefit assessment model of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) implementation in commercial foodservice operations.

The HACCP preventative food safety program was developed nearly 30 years ago for astronauts and applies to the canned food industry, seafood, juice, milk, and meat and poultry processing plants. Sharma's project will conduct research in casual dining restaurants, grocery stores and gas station food outlets. A total of 12 organizations will participate through their various units in Pennsylvania and Delaware. The central outcome of the project will be to develop a model that helps managers evaluate the costs of investing in HACCP implementation versus its potential benefits. It will also lead to the development of training modules for management and consumers.

"Given the importance of food safety and HACCP for foodservice organizations and the novel approach of this research, its outcomes will help to fill a critical gap in foodservice management and consumer decision-making," Sharma says.

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