How To Implement A Strong Food Safety Culture ?

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The Food Safety System Certification 22000 (FSSC 22000) requires organizations to ensure implementation and continual review of Food Safety Culture. The requirement is that the organisation needs to show evidence that the senior management is committed to ensuring implementation, maintenance, and continual improvement of the food safety management system, and this evidence shall include the elements of food safety culture, which are:

  • Communication
  • Training
  • Feedback from employees, and
  • Performance measurement on food safety-related activities

The following are 10 steps organisations could follow to implement a strong food safety culture.

1. Leadership must walk the talk

  • Leaders should demonstrate a solid commitment to food safety
  • Enforce rules and protocols

2. Be inclusive and get buy-in from the majority of employees

  • Include every staff member irrespective of role
  • Avoid the “my way or the highway” attitude

3. Provide Ongoing Refresher training

  • Food safety training and education should be an ongoing effort
  • Training and empowerment should be the top priority

4. Ensure fairness and consistency

  • Discourage unfairness, discrimination, and bias
  • Apply same rules irrespective of position and/or demographics

5. Keep records of all important controls

  • Insist on the paper trail, SOPs and records for key processes
  • Records to be an accurate reflection on factory operations

6. Have a supplier and raw material approval process

  • Source products from trusted suppliers
  • The procurement team should know your supplier approval SOP

7. Stay updated

  • Beware of new and emerging risks
  • Know potential risks posed by your products or industry

8. Request feedback from employees (Communication)

  • Verify the effectiveness of your systems and processes
  • Conduct employee food safety culture surveys
  • Request honest feedback

9. Review Employee feedback

  •  At least annually review what employees feel about the organisation
  • Make an effort to improve on aspects employees complain about

10. Incentivise strong food safety culture

  • Have a reward system in place for those who do well
  • Take decisive action against those who have a negative food safety culture

In conclusion, a strong food safety culture improves company performance and ensures the production of safe food, which ultimately benefits the consumer. Should you be interested in doing our food safety culture courses, please contact us.

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