If you’re in the food business, ensuring your products are safe is a moral obligation
What does food safety culture look like (in layman’s terms)?
Food safety is not only a business priority; it is ingrained throughout the company and practiced every day by every employee. As an extension of your food safety management system (HACCP and GFSI), employees at all levels of the organization feel responsible for the safety of the products they produce and take action when they see a potential problem. In short, it’s a company-wide commitment.
What are the benefits?
Having a robust food safety culture will mitigate risks. While it may not totally prevent incidents, your business will be better prepared to deal with them and minimize damage to your reputation, your brand and your bottom line. Here’s what it can do for your business:
- Fewer product quality issues and consumer complaints.
- Decreased chance of product recalls which are costly and can damage the reputation of your business.
- Increased likelihood of potential problems being flagged by employees – who may not be food safety/quality assurance personnel – when there is time to address issues before they escalate.
- Customer retention through improved service levels.
- Reduced stress and last minute panic of preparing for audits. Unannounced GFSI audits are on the horizon.
- Improved audit success rates.
- Routine training engages your employees, can instill a sense of company pride and reduce employee turnover.
- Protects and builds trust in your brand. With social media highlighting food borne illness incidents, consumers are increasingly concerned about the safety of their food. Why not publicize the steps your company takes to ensure your products are safe?
So take action to make food safety part of your company’s DNA. You owe it to your customers, supply chain partners and employees.
To get started, check out the Food Safety Culture Blog at www.takeanewapproach.ca/blog. The Food Safety Culture Roundtable is an initiative of the Agri-Food Management Institute (AMI). The mandate is “To enable a culture of commitment to food safety compliance.” AMI provides business management tools, information, resources and training for agri-food producers and processors.
As a packaged foods consultant, Birgit Blain makes food products more marketable. Her experience includes 17 years with Loblaw Brands and President’s Choice®. Contact her at bbandassoc.com/contact-us/