You can have all the food safety related tools, processes and systems you like in a food business and food will still be unsafe if your staff are not fully committed to food safety. It is the staff which are the key to food safety in any organisation.
For food safety to work there has to be a strong food safety culture in an organisation.
This culture is about the commitment that each person in the organisation has to doing the right thing to ensure that the food made in or provided by that business meets the business and legal requirements.
It is about the structure that is in place and the support that management provide to each staff member to ensure that they are part of the team and feel valued and involved.
It doesn’t just happen and needs to be constantly nurtured and maintained.
Food safety in an organisation is like a garden. It is all very well to put plants into the soil and just hope they grow. To get a beautiful garden, you first have to prepare the soil, then choose the right plants for that environment, then those plants need to be cared for, the garden weeded and watered.
Food safety in an organisation also needs preparation, the right program / systems for that business, staff training, product testing, verification of the system and a commitment from all involved from the Board to the Cleaners.
It is the culture in the organisation which provides the care and attention needed to ensure food safety and it is the responsibility of management to develop, encourage and maintain that culture.
Food Safety Culture is now a key part of what auditors are looking for in organisations because of it’s importance to ensuring food safety.
Food Standards Australia new Zealand has recognised the importance of culture to food safety and has regular updates to provide support. Here is the link to the latest version of Food Safety Culture Connections;