Food Safety Practices and Managers' Perceptions: A Qualitative Study in Hospitality

Arendt, Susan
Arendt, Susan
Paez, Paola
Strohbehn, Catherine
Strohbehn, Catherine
Major Professor
Committee Member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

Foodservice managers are responsible for making sure employees follow safe food handling practices so customers do not become ill from unsafe food. Therefore, this study ascertained managers’ perspectives using two methods of data analysis to answer the question, “What would make managers more effective in their role of assuring safe food practices are followed in the workplace?” Focus groups with current and future foodservice managers were conducted. The software program, Atlas.ti™ was used to complement researchers’ analyses of focus group transcripts and develop visual representations of qualitative data. Major thematic categories identified by the managers in this study included: role identification, food safety training, and manager effectiveness. Using Atlas.ti™, data are visually mapped and relationships between different themes and theoretical ideas are represented. Based on the three major theme areas identified, foodservice operations should focus on improving manager effectiveness, role understanding and training to promote a safe food climate. Understanding why safe food practices are not followed can help operators delegate resources accordingly. Visual mapping helps clarify areas to improve workplace food safety practices and illustrates linkages. Originality/value – The use of qualitative analysis software in conjunction with researcher review in food safety research is novel. In addition, although other researchers have evaluated reasons for following or not following safe food handling practices, most have done so by assessing employees’ perspectives rather than managers’ perspectives.


This is a manuscript of an article in International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management 24 (2013): 124, doi:10.1108/09596111311290255. Posted with permission.