The Importance of culture in food safety
Food safety culture has become a buzz word for the food industry in recent years. It’s been identified as a major factor in outbreaks and scandals, and is spoken about in conferences and meetings around the world. But what exactly does a positive food safety culture look like and do companies really know how effective theirs is and how it compares to others?
What we know now is that a strong company culture and excellence in food safety are two sides of the same coin. Culture is the key to effective implementation of food safety best practices and in helping to prevent food safety incidents and quality issues.
Companies are interested in understanding how they can improve their food safety and quality culture whether it is because they need to be audit-ready at all times, to gain trust and support from their clients, or because they understand that culture is a critical success factor in their business.
Can you measure your food safety culture?
The first challenge when it comes to food safety culture is perhaps the most obvious one: how do you measure it? You can only improve things effectively if you can measure them. For most companies that can seem quite daunting, and even the concept itself can seem hard to pin down and explain.
Fortunately, a lot of work has been done to help companies in this area. The TSI Culture Excellence Model creates a tangible and comprehensive structure for understanding and evaluating food safety and quality culture. It breaks the topic down into four categories and 20 dimensions, each of which can then be measured and tracked.
The TSI Culture Excellence Model is built on over 15 years of research and development within industry, academia and government, integrating the core disciplines of psychology, organisational culture, quality management, and food safety management. The measurement tool is an online anonymous survey, and companies who join the Culture Excellence Program can use it to measure themselves against over 200 data points, compare themselves to the industry as a whole, and build focused improvement plans.
Updates and further information
TSI have launched a new version of the survey and online platform this year, in collaboration with Campden BRI and BRC. There are now over 20 language translations, and an optional module for assessing Health and Safety culture.