An interesting and informative survey into food manufacturers around the globe has revealed that a lack of time is often a major obstacle to food safety training.
The Global Food Safety Training Survey 2013 was published recently and included feedback from 649 food and drink producers globally. The survey showed that over 70 per cent of the companies who participated in the survey named lack of time for training as major barrier to education of employees about food safety.
This is a concerning finding when you consider that food safety training is not an option but a priority to any food or beverage business. More time and money would be lost if a contamination or outbreak were to originate at the business and spread to the public.
The results of this study are a good way for food manufacturers and processors to benchmark their performance against their competitors and identify any opportunities for development and education is the best way to facilitate this development.
A post on Foodsafetynews.com explains more:
Of the topics covered in the companies’ food safety trainings, HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control points) was the one covered by the most firms, with about 97 percent reporting that HACCP was part of their training. Good manufacturing practices came next, at 96 percent, followed by sanitation, employee hygiene, a food safety program and an allergen program, all of which were covered at over 90 percent of companies surveyed.
Topics less likely to be covered at trainings included validation of food safety protocol, risk assessments, supplier quality assurance, root cause analysis, GFSI protocol and product sampling protocols, which came in at the bottom of the list, covered by less than 40 percent of trainings.
The majority of companies surveyed were based in North America (65 percent). European companies represented 22 percent of participants; 7 percent were from the Australia/Oceania region; 3 percent were from Africa; 2 percent were from Asia and 1 percent was from Central and South America.
The fact remains that all food handlers need to know how the work they do can affect the safety of the food. The Australian Food Safety Standard requires that people who handle food and the people who supervise them have the skills and knowledge in food safety and food hygiene for the work they do. People who handle food are anyone who is involved in any activity that involves food, or surfaces likely to come in contact with food. In order to gain this skill and knowledge workers need to be trained in Food handling and Safety.
This includes people involved in food manufacturing; processing; preparation (including chopping, cooking, thawing etc.); delivering and transporting; packing as well as those that clean tableware and equipment that comes in contact with food. Food handlers need the skills and knowledge required to keep food safe for the jobs they carry out in the food business, finding the time to do this not merely an option but a priority.