The purpose of this study was to determine barriers for HACCP and food safety programs in food businesses in Turkey. A lack of understanding of HACCP was identified as one of the main barriers to its implementation 63.5% reported that they did not really know what HACCP was while 23.5% reported that it was too complicated. Only 33.0% of managers said they had a food safety management system. About 31% of the employees in food businesses had received basic food hygiene training. The majority of managers (91.3%) identified improved customer confidence as a benefit of implementing a food safety management system. Lack of prerequisite programs (92.2%) was the key barrier identified for all food businesses. While lack of knowledge about HACCP (83.5%), lack of time (88.7%), staff turnover (80.9%), lack of employee motivation (83.5%), complicated terminology (87.0%) and lack of personnel training (91.3) was the other most common barriers in food businesses. As a conclusion, lack of knowledge about HACCP and other food safety programs were identified as the main barriers for food safety in food businesses. Lack of prerequisite programs and inadequate physical condition of the facility were also identified as other barriers. Training programs, both basic food safety and HACCP to support implementation of prerequisite programs and HACCP in food businesses were suggested. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.