Successive food safety crises in Hong Kong not only have trapped the local public in panic, but also raised the alarm in the public health system's crises preparedness for food safety problems. Although the Office of Crisis Management of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Crisis Management Academy and the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed in European countries have been established for coordinating emergency and crisis response activities on food safety issues, there is inadequate emergency and crises management of food safety by the local food authorities. This article aimed to formulate a local food safety crisis management plan which consists of preventive phase, emergency phase and reconstruction phase based on the revised crisis preparedness model. It was suggested that a cross-boundary liaison with health authorities overseas, a close inter- and intradepartmental cooperation in the government, a balance between economic and political issues, considerations on public culture, and an introduction of education for food safety and morality should be the determinants of success in the plan. Practical applications Crisis preparedness on food safety seems to be the indispensable proactive measure to safeguard the public health by the local food authorities. This article aimed to discuss the formulation of a local crisis management plan on contingent food safety problems in preventive phase, emergency phase and reconstruction phase based on the revised crisis preparedness model (Elsubbaugh et al. 2004). This food safety crisis management plan not only can safeguard the public health but also regain the confidence on food safety from the local public and stakeholders. Although further improvement can be made, the proposed plan is worthwhile because no similar planning for food safety crisis management has been found in the local food authorities. It also provides a stepping stone for the future development of food safety crisis management to the local policy makers in the public health sector.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science