Food Safety Culture
What is food safety culture?
The food safety culture of a business is how everyone, regardless of role or responsibility, thinks and acts in their daily job to ensure that the food they make is safe. It refers to shared values, beliefs and norms, which affects mindset and behaviour toward food safety.
Successful culture change is more than the implementation of a process or procedure; it needs both top-down and bottom-up commitment, engagement and action – and their effective integration.
Why is food safety culture important for your business?
Food safety incidents in Australia and overseas can often be traced back to how people behave. A mature food safety culture delivers many benefits and is a powerful tool to improve business performance.
Working on food safety culture:
- Engages staff and promotes a shared responsibility for food safety across all functions
- Improves food safety outcomes, and provides a toolkit to continuously improve management of food safety
- Strengthens compliance and reduces compliance costs
- Improves business performance and reputation
- Reduces risks associated with people and practices
Why is DFSV assessing food safety culture?
Good food safety outcomes rely on people and behaviours. DFSV is undertaking a program called Dairy RegTech aimed at assessing food safety culture and supporting businesses to identify strategies to strengthen it. Food safety culture is recognised internationally as an important element of ensuring and sustaining food safety in a food business. It has been incorporated into many international food safety standards such as Codex and GFSI benchmarked standards.
How is food safety culture measured?
Dairy RegTech uses a food safety culture maturity model that illustrates how the behaviours of people responsible for manufacturing food can impact food safety. The model is based on internationally recognised codes and practices, including recommendations of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
Dairy RegTech assesses a manufacturing site’s food safety culture by conducting an employee survey, focus group discussions and leader interviews. Businesses participating in Dairy RegTech receive a food safety culture score which forms the basis for the development of plans for continuous improvement of food safety culture.
For a printable fact sheet about food safety culture, please see: Publication - What is Food Safety Culture