Food In Canada


Survey pinpoints barriers to food safety training

Food and beverage processors identify the barriers to food safety training in a global survey out of the U.K.

Gloucestershire, U.K. – Food and beverage manufacturers the world over feel strongly about food safety but more than 70 per cent say finding the time to train employees is the greatest challenge.

Campden BRI of the U.K. and Alchemy Systems LP of Texas conducted the survey in partnership with BRC and SQF. They released the results today.

The survey found other barriers food processors experience to effective food safety training of their employees. They include:

• Verifying the effectiveness of training (43 per cent);
• Dealing with language issues when delivering a consistent training program across global sites (28 per cent);
• Resource problems (24 per cent); and
• Keeping the training curriculum up-to-date (24 per cent).

Cross section

Campden and Alchemy say the 649 companies surveyed represent a cross section of the industry, drawn from across the world. They ranged in size from under 50 employees to over 1,000 and cover many sectors including cereal and baking, dairy, meats, fish and poultry, and packaging.

“With food safety being so critical to the food industry, the importance of adequate training remains vital,” says Laura Dunn Nelson, director of Industry Relations at Alchemy. “The results of this study are an excellent way for food manufacturers and processors to benchmark their performance against their competitors and identify any opportunities for development.”

Training methods

Almost 85 per cent of food companies use on-the-job training, which was closely followed by reading policies, refresher courses and traditional classroom-based learning.

It is worth noting that e-learning and interactive training were used by 39 per cent and 14 per cent of companies, respectively.

However, with only 66 per cent of companies stating they are very satisfied or satisfied with the quality of training undertaken, there is clearly room for improvement. The biggest deficiencies identified were a lack of employee understanding and incomplete training records.

“The results of this survey provide a complete picture of the current activities and practices in food safety training across the industry,” says Bertrand Emond, head of Membership and Training at Campden BRI. “By conducting the survey each year we will be able to track developments and trends, and develop solutions to some of the challenges identified.”

Click here to read the full results of the study, which surveyed companies on all areas of food safety from auditing and measuring competency to management of training records