The 8 Elements of Food Safety Culture

The key strategic areas regarding a food safety culture.

October 3, 2017 in Food Safety, Compliance

Food Safety Culture

Safety culture within an organisation is attributed to the values of both individual employees and the business as a whole. The success of an organisation’s safety programme is based on trust and a shared vision of importance surrounding safety for the entire organisation.

Developing a Food safety culture has become a key focus within the food manufacturing industry in recent years. Companies are investing more time and money into food safety as it has a direct impact on auditing success and the company’s bottom line.

Elements of Food Safety Culture

  1. BUSINESS PRIORITIES
    The extent to which an organisation prioritises food safety and their overall attitude regarding food safety.
  2. RISK PERCEPTIONS
    The organisation’s perception and understanding of the risks associated with food safety.
  3. PERCEPTION OF FOOD SAFETY PROCEDURES
    The organisation’s perception of the effectiveness and validity of food safety regulations.
  4. OWNERSHIP OF FOOD SAFETY
    The level of responsibility that an organisation accepts in relation to food safety.
  5. COMPETENCE
    The level of understanding an organisation has regarding risk management procedures.
  6. LEADERSHIP
    The level of commitment that management has regarding food safety.
  7. EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT
    The level of commitment the wider organisation has toward food safety.
  8. EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATIONS
    The level of communication across the organisation and the freedom for employees to challenge procedures.

The Importance of Food Safety Training.

One thing that companies with a successful food safety culture do well is how they manage their food safety training. Companies are recognising that food safety is more than just a tick box exercise; it is an integral part of the food business.

These companies are using technology in a way that if a customer or regulator requires information about their food safety process, they can easily provide that information electronically, at anytime.

What Concerns Consumers Should Concern You Too

In our modern digital and connected world, consumers are more aware today than ever about food safety and where to find information regarding the quality and reputation of food brands.

Some of the key concerns amongst consumers are:

  • Consumers are more aware of food safety risks
  • They are concerned about the quality of food products
  • Consumers will search online to learn about a company’s health and safety record „ Are aware and more supportive of regulatory controls
  • Spend more time reading food product labels than in the past
  • Consumers are concerned about quality control measures regarding imports

Conclusion

There are both negative and positive consequences regarding food safety. Where the negative are the obvious regulatory issues and food recalls, the positive consequences are those which help to increase overall performance. Companies with a strong food safety culture are using these positive, performance outcomes as a competitive advantage.