Food Safety Culture | Why should it be a priority for your business in 2023?Blog
Unwittingly, habits creep in and unconscious, undesirable and unsafe behaviour of your employees might affect the quality of your products. Food Safety Culture (FSC) is an efficient way of preventing reputational crises from occurring in the food industry.
What is Food Safety Culture?
Food Safety Culture can be defined as the food safety behaviours, attitudes, norms and beliefs shared by a group of people. These elements determine the solidity of a company’s food safety management. A robust food safety culture delivers many benefits to food companies by preventing and minimizing incidents that can impact the safety and quality of your products.
1. Food Safety Culture should be empowered by management
It is the management team’s task to design, roll out and maintain the frameworks for this culture. The management team is the driving force behind company policy and the corresponding norms and values. Hence, with the appropriate leadership, managers can expand culture change across all tiers. Likewise, it is fundamental to involve all employees in the culture implementation to ensure a successful shift. For example, middle-level management can provide support in the sphere of communication and direction and can anticipate behaviour and change.
To inspire and motivate employees, managers should ensure that their efforts for food safety are visible daily, both minor as well as major efforts. Sharing the company vision for safety and quality will contribute to this as well.
2. Food Safety Culture is a collective goal
Creating a food safety culture is complicated. It is all about a collective goal, a way of thinking and behaving that goes beyond a mere certification. Food safety is a shared responsibility and all employees play a role in the effective implementation and maintenance thereof. Employees, regardless of their position within the company, need to understand the impact their actions can have on food safety.
3. The importance of Food Safety Culture for your business
Food Safety Culture is becoming increasingly important in managing the safety and quality of your products and ultimately the reputation of your brand. If the awareness of food-safe production is widely supported within your organization, the chances of getting food safety incidents reduces. Further, if employees feel involved with the organization’s goals; they will put their best foot forward to guarantee food safety and quality. Having employees that are involved and have a great understanding of the impact of their actions will provide an advantage for the entire organization.
4. Demonstrate an advanced Food Safety Culture through GFSI standards
Food safety culture is now part of the requirements to achieve major GFSI standards such as BRCGS, FSSC 22000, SQF and HACCP. The GFSI announced a set of benchmarks that businesses must meet to demonstrate they maintain a positive Food Safety Culture and achieve a GFSI certification.
The GFSI has been a prime promoter on this topic and wrote a position paper at the end of 2018. Now governments around the world have started to support this topic. In September 2020, The EU set the rules through Regulation 2021/382 on Food Safety Culture to help European companies advance on this topic.
What can Mérieux NutriSciences Do for You?
Through a range of food safety auditing & consulting services, Mérieux NutriSciences can support you in assessing your business compliance with current industry regulations and standard requirements.
Do you need more information on Food Safety Culture?
Revisit our recent webinar and learn practical tips to implement and improve the Food Safety Culture within your organisation.
Discover what’s new in the BRCGS Food Safety Issue 9 and FSC
In BRCGS Issue 9, the obligation of senior management to continuously improve the food quality and safety culture has been added to the policy. Learn more about BRCGS Issue 9 changes in our white paper.