Food Safety Culture

Food Safety Culture Analysis

This project measures Food Safety Culture and provides management with better insights into how elements within its control are related to Food Safety Non-Conformances while also better understanding and reducing high Staff Attrition.

Food safety culture is about how, what, when, and why operators and management apply food safety knowledge and risk control to their roles. Because of the complexities of human nature, and how each food company, process, and product varies, it is hard to define, and because it’s hard to define, there are different approaches to what constitutes food safety culture and how this can be objectively measured.

The regulatory background case for performance measurement of Food Safety Culture

The Ministry of Primary Industries released a research report in 2018 about food safety culture in New Zealand food businesses.

The research was conducted to gain a better understanding of how businesses were implementing and maintaining strong food safety cultures in the workplace. Some observations from the report are:

  • 95% of those surveyed said they had policies and rules in place to identify and deal with food safety risks, but only 69% of food businesses surveyed had specific food safety goals and key performance indicators.
  • Only 13% of food businesses surveyed said they had a formal reward system for staff who identified food safety problems.
  • There’s good leadership on food safety culture but only 3% of food businesses surveyed, objectively measured and reported data on their food safety performance back to their employees.

This regulatory report was also one more of several drivers for this project.

You can read the full report here.

The project challenge

The project task for Food Safety Intelligence: Articulate, define, and measure food safety culture within a globally acceptable food safety certification standard.

The project measures how the company and a team of operators are performing against:

  • the BRC Standard for Food Safety Culture (chosen for Europen market access reasons); and then
  • deploy learning algorithms aimed at identifying potentially useful patterns, information and insights that management could then act on.

The project brief is to target certain elements such as risk and HACCP [Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point] knowledge and problem-solving competencies of operators (independent variables). Based on this learning, the task of the algorithms is to see which elements relate to the wider challenges faced by this company, such as non-conformance deviations and high staff attrition (dependent variables).

The project approach

Our project approach uses both qualitative and quantitative data measurements.

Further benefits

The Human Resouce team will have even better insight into:

  • tenure impacts for each type of role
  • how performance incentives can be leveraged to retain operators

Summary of learning

The project will provide management with better insight into:

  • variables that impact non-conformance deviations, which can be reduced.
  • variables that impact high staff attrition, that can be controlled.

Food Safety Intelligence offers artificial intelligence services and solutions to food companies across the global food supply chain. You can read about our services here and our experts here.