Those of you who have attended my Level 3 and Level 4 Food Safety courses will know how much I keep going on about how food safety should be within the culture of a business. So difficult to see, it’s certainly something you get a sense of quite quickly when you walk into a business.
A positive food safety culture is how everyone in the business just seems to know and really care about food safety. They’re not thinking about it actively (necessarily) but are just doing it correctly, a bit like changing the gears when you drive your car.
There are many factors that can contribute to this, the first certainly being the message that’s coming from the owner or senior manager. If they passionately care and prioritise food safety, that example will be followed by the staff.
Another key factor is the knowledge that we share with our staff to give them the confidence to make good decisions and use their initiative when faced with issues affecting food safety.
This is just one of many reasons why staff training is so vital. We all understand the theory that trained staff are more likely to stay with a business, and staff retention certainly remains an issue in our industry at the moment. However, trained staff are likely to be more efficient, more productive staff, which is great for business overheads. Competent staff are likely to be motivated and be more active at engaging with processes or suggesting ideas. They will require less support from colleagues and managers, too, and can help you promote from within when you need to.
I would also argue that having a staff training programme in place has a really positive effect on your business culture as well. Everyone feels that they want to work for a business which does the right thing, whether that is in relation to food safety, staff training or anything else. Having a training programme in place which incorporates food safety can only help to embed that positive culture into your business.
What’s the point of a business having a good food safety culture? Ultimately it means that we are keeping our consumers safe. But it also has the knock on effect that customers, auditors and enforcement officers develop confidence in the business. They trust and believe that the business will get it right. On a personal level, it gives the mangers and the supervisors the confidence to delegate tasks and to not constantly worry about what staff might be doing if they’re away from the business.
Academy Training Manager
Rod Carver - Level 3 Food Safety Attendee