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Building a Food Safety Culture

Culture is one of the most important aspects of a successful business, and one that is often overlooked. A company’s ethos should be built on shared values and spearheaded by leadership and management.  In the food industry, it’s crucial for businesses to build and maintain a culture based on a commitment to food safety.

What Does An Optimal Culture Look Like in a Food Business?

The culture present in a food operation isn’t limited to food handlers.  All employees with a role in food safety should be trained and encouraged appropriately.  This includes management, purchasing, receiving, sanitation, maintenance, quality assurance, and operations personnel.  For a true culture to manifest, it requires each member of the team to understand the company’s ultimate goal and their specific role in achieving this.

An optimal food safety culture includes:

  • employees that are well-informed and effective
  • employees that follow proper protocol, with or without supervision
  • personnel are engaged and encouraged to report food safety concerns to management
  • management prioritizes food safety over the bottom line

Signs of a non-existent or flawed food safety culture might include:

  • management fails to notice or correct hazardous behaviors
  • employees exhibit a lack of interest in personal hygiene
  • personnel are not clear on protocol, and don’t feel comfortable asking
  • management prioritizes the bottom line over food safety

Management’s Role In Building Culture

It’s important that food safety culture is established, first and foremost, by leadership and management. Examples of this include ensuring the business is compliant with food safety regulations, making sure that employees are trained in proper food handling techniques, holding employees accountable for not following the rules, and empowering employees to raise food safety concerns.

Owners, managers, and supervisors are also responsible for:

  • leading by example and establishing policies and procedures that place an emphasis on food safety
  • providing equipment and ensuring that all tools that are in good condition
  • communicating clear instructions for proper handling
  • providing regular and thorough food safety training and follow-up

Make It Happen

If you’re looking to solidify your business’s food safety culture, Avert can help!

Let us assist you in creating a food safety program with  the right culture that empowers your staff and promotes continued success for all your stakeholders.

Contact us today!

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Matthew McClure provides sound strategies that instill cost-effective methods for building robust food safety, operational and quality assurance programs. Along with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Microbiology from The University of Akron and an MBA in Finance from Louisiana State University, Matthew brings over 20 years of experience in the food safety industry to AVERT Food Safety Advisors. His knowledge spans many areas including FDA food processing facilities, USDA meat and poultry plants, dietary supplement manufacturers, retail, cannabis manufacturing, and food service operations.

Contact us for more information:

info@avertfoodsafety.com | Tel: +1 702.706.6574

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