Attitudes towards food safety within selected countries of the European hotel industry
This thesis examines the important and topical issue of food safety among member states of the European Union. After tracing the development of related legislation, a review of the literature focuses on its management within the European hotel industry. In attempting to account for differences in attitudes and practice towards food safety, the study explores the respective application oftwo opposing theoretical positions. The first, known as divergence theory, which tends to equate culture with nationality, maintains that variation is attributable to inter-country differences in norms and values. The second, convergence theory, argues that culture is more appropriately understood in the organisational sense as functioning at the corporate level of the hotel. Hence, under the latter perspective, an explanation of variance is more likely to be derived from differences in type or ethos of hotel (whether chain or independent) and the ways that they are structured according to mode ofoperation, size and hierarchy. After outlining the methodological difficulties of carrying out a comparative study capable of resolving the foregoing dilemma, the empirical section takes place in two major stages: (1 ) a canvassing of expert opinion, with a view to filling gaps in knowledge of the legislation and its implementation; and (2) the conducting of a sample survey among hotel personnel in a number of EU member states (this stage being preceded by a small, two-phase pilot investigation). In order to contrast the rival theories statistically, the data from the survey are analysed by a series of relevant independent variables and tested for significance. Although there are acknowledged limitations on the degree of generalisation that can be claimed, by and large the convergence theory is upheld. A summary of the findings is provided and a number of implications for the future of food safety legislation in the EU are highlighted.