Business’ working in the food industry must utilise a combination of hard and soft skills when preparing food for sale. The hard skills are things such as highly trained employees who know how to prepare food safely, the implementation of safe, hazard-free worksites, and so on. However, they also need to employ an array of soft skills to get the food prepared for safe customer purchase, including a clear, well-designated chain-of-command, in which employees feel appreciated and understand their role and responsibilities within the organisation. As many different departments are relying on each other throughout the food supply chain process, a key ingredient to ensuring successful food preparation is trust.
Staff must be able to trust and rely on each other in the event of a potential food contamination incident, to ensure it is dealt with in the safest, most efficient manner possible. Further, customers and stakeholders of the company must have a degree of trust in the business’ operations, so they feel secure in dealing with the organisation, or in purchasing their food products. They must trust that the food the company prepares is safe, contamination and hazard-free, and has been subjected to the highest quality food preparation processes throughout every stage of the food supply chain. Further, even though trust can take a long time to establish, a single incident or breach of food safety standards can make people lose their confidence in the organisation’s ability to provide them with tasty, safe food products, and refuse to purchase from the company again.
Develop and maintain trust by demonstrating a commitment to food safety standards
That is why it is important for business’ in the food industry to work with some form of high food safety standards or guidelines, which can advise them on how to maintain the highest quality food safety standards across the board, in all areas of the food supply chain, from manufacture, preparation and sale. The implementation of an internationally certified Food Safety Management System (FSMS) can help companies achieve their goal of maintaining stakeholder and customer trust by upholding high quality food safety standards, as it works at bringing structure and discipline to the entire food preparation process. This is specifically achieved by:
- Employing a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) approach to food safety. This approach works at preventing potential food contamination hazards from occurring in the first place, by conducting a systematic analysis of potential contamination and hazard risks across all stages of the food supply chain, and taking active steps to work at mitigating their effects. This forward-thinking approach has several benefits, including mitigating potential food contamination risks before they have an effect on business operations, an approach which is more conducive to the continuity of business operations than working at controlling food contamination problems after they occur.
- Complying with the internationally certified food safety standards of the Safe Quality Food Program (SQF). These high standards are a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) food safety standard which encompasses all the stages of the food supply chain. Further, to help companies focus on specific industry concerns and allow business’ to tailor their food safety approach to the specific requirements of their operations, it addresses specific areas of maintaining food safety, including how to ensure the manufacture of safe food, concerns specifically related to the primary production industry, and so on. Its broad scope ensures that all business’ who work with food will be able to utilise these standards to maintain their food safety, their customer and client trust, and that all business’ will be able to find something of relevance to them.
- Achieving and maintaining the trust of current, and potential, stakeholders, and customers. Specifically, by demonstrating that your business has achieved certification to the SQF program, your business is able to prove that it has a commitment to globally recognised food safety standards. This gives customers, clients, the general public, as well as government and industry regulation bodies, a guarantee that your organisation has identified potential food contamination risk factors, worked at mitigating them, and taken steps to ensure that effective food safety systems are implemented across the whole food supply chain within the organisation. This commitment to high food safety standards develops trust within the community, regarding your business’ commitment to ensuring that it provides only the safest, highest quality food possible.
- Ensuring that the food safety standards of your operations are continually monitored, reviewed, and fault-checked, to ensure that they are maintaining industry compliance. Changes in the working environment, such as the purchase of new cooking equipment or moving premises, can introduce new food safety concerns. The SQF Programs ensures that your business’ food safety practices are continually under review, so that they not only meet international food safety standards, but that they maintain them, through the continual review of their food safety processes, thus ensuring that everything they do in terms of food preparation meets industry standards.
What benefits a Food Safety Management System will bring to your business
Have you heard the old saying that people do not remember the 1000 times that you got it right, but they remember the one time you got it wrong? That certainly applies to food safety management within an organisation. Customers and clients may not appear to notice that a Food Safety Management System is working effectively, but its seamless, almost invisible, application is one of its central benefits, as an effective, working Food Safety Management System instils in people the idea that your business has an efficient, systematic approach to dealing with food safety, and that they can safely purchase food from your business. This kind of invisible assurance that your business does things right is much more effective than having an issue with food contamination, and having to take steps to mitigate its effects, as well as regain the trust of clients and customers.
If you would like to find out more about how a Food Safety Management System could be implemented within your business to work at strengthening its food safety systems and maintaining the trust of customers and clients, then please get in touch with Anitech Group’s consultants today, on 1300 802 163. They will be able to discuss with you how a FSMS could specifically be tailored to the requirements of your business operations to strengthen its food safety systems, and they will also be able to answer any questions or queries you may have. Wouldn’t you say this sounds like something you can trust in?
Please click here to learn more about another underlying principle, of an effective Food Safety Management System; preparation.