One HACCP, two approaches: experiences with and perceptions of the hazard analysis and critical control points food safety management systems in the US and the EU

Hyde, Richard, Hofland, A. Bryce and Pautz, Michelle (2012) One HACCP, two approaches: experiences with and perceptions of the hazard analysis and critical control points food safety management systems in the US and the EU. In: Law and Society Association Annual Conference 2012, 5 - 8 June, 2012, Honolulu, Hawaii.

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In recent years both the European Union and the United States have experienced a number of well publicized food safety incidents that have called into question the capacity of the existing regulatory arrangements to ensure food safety for consumers. In the US, there have been recalls of, amongst others, spinach, peanuts (and peanut products), lettuce, and ground beef. And in the EU last year, Spanish eggs, Italian clams, oysters from France and Ireland, Polish sausages and minced beef from Sweden have all been recalled, amongst others. While over the last decade the EU has, created a new regime regulating food safety, the US is still grappling with these incidents and debating which regulatory road to take. Central to the EU regime is the requirement that a food safety management system based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is implemented at most stages of farm-to-fork food production, and is strongly encouraged in all other areas (including primary production).

Elite interviews with food safety professionals in government, industry, and interest groups in both the US and the EU demonstrated two different paths towards increased food safety and use of HACCP. In the US, we have uncovered a growing interest and movement toward the adoption of self-regulatory mechanisms to ensure food safety. Where these systems have been implemented in the US, the drivers have generally been from within industry. This self-regulatory use of HACCP contrasts with the position in the EU, where a policy decision was made to create a centralized regulatory regime with HACCP as one of its centerpieces. This paper compares the attitudes toward HACCP in the US and the EU and seeks to answer the following questions: What drives these different policy positions in the EU and US? Is the self-regulatory regime favored in the US deprecated in the EU? Why? Does ‘self-regulation’ mean different things in the US and EU? What does this tell us about the different regulatory approaches of the EU and the US? We illustrate the contrasting policy choices and attempt to illuminate the drivers behind the different policy decisions within the US and the EU. We consider how the two approaches create linkages between actors in the food production sphere, and how the different approaches influence the actions of decision makers. Finally we explore the strengths and weaknesses of the contrasting approaches, and consider how they may be applied to the primary production of produce in the US and the EU.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: D600 Food and Beverage studies
M100 Law by area
M200 Law by Topic
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: Richard Hyde
Date Deposited: 24 May 2012 08:50
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2019 00:39

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