How to improve your food safety culture
Knowing how to improve your food safety culture is becoming a key strategy in all types of food businesses as challenges come from all directions.
The benefits from building a strong food safety culture have been known in the manufacturing industry for some time but are just starting to be understood in the world of hospitality. The Food Standards Agency is currently reaearching how measuring a business’s food safety culture can help local councils prioritise their inspections: Organisations, Culture & Food Safety.
What do we mean by food safety culture?
Food safety culture is the attitude to food safety from all the people involved in a food business (owners, managers and team members). It involves making sure the day to day practices and ‘how we do things around here’ are always through a lens of food safety.
What are the benefits of a strong food safety culture?
Currently food businesses face challenges in all areas, from retaining staff, supply chain interruptions and rises in food prices, to a more knowledgeable customer with dietary preferences and allergies. As a result it is more important than ever that the whole team can be relied upon to serve safe great food each time, protecting the customer and reputation of the business.
Although not the only tool, effective staff training is the cornerstone of improving culture and standards and setting the company attitude with new employees.
Ensuring your business has a great attitude to food safety and a strong food safety culture can drive continuous improvement and result in:
- Effective staff training
- Greater staff retention
- Better staff morale
- Excellent customer service
- Reduced complaints
- Reduced enforcement
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Improved business reputation
5 steps to improve your food safety culture
Using a variety of tools there are 5 simple steps you can take to make sure you improve your food safety culture:
- Assess and understand – what is the current attitude towards food safety, what is the current culture. What is driving the current behaviours.
- Identify the goal – where do you want to be, how do you want your food safety culture to look
- Tools and resources – what is available to you to support your food safety culture, this could be technology, individual, time or location
- Communicate and implement – consider not only what you want to communicate, but how, who and when, to make sure the message has the desired impact
- Monitor and review – Always take time to review what worked and what didn’t so you can continuously improveme.
Ultimately if you want to survive in the current climate of food business operations, all areas of your business have to be focussed on providing that great customer experience.
Safer Food Scores has online food safety and health and safety survey tools to enable food businesses to measure their current culture. We help you analyse the results of these to prioritise the actions you need to take.