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The first webinar in the Food Safety Culture for Beginners Webinar Series with Vikas Menon covered how to prepare your team and develop the basic elements of your food safety culture program. Many questions were raised by the audience, from how food safety culture and employee moral are interconnected to how much time it will take to improve the food safety culture of the organization.

Below you will find the answer to three additional questions: 

What are the pros and cons of using a questionnaire to measure the food safety culture level? 

You can quickly assess your company’s food safety culture by using an assessment questionnaire that shows how much importance each department gives to food safety.  However, this kind of evaluation will only assist in identifying the general food safety concerns. 

Hardened food safety beliefs can only be identified by completing a detailed food safety obstacle assessment and assessing the maturity of the food safety culture. Remember that most of the time hardened food safety beliefs are driven by the “invisible” culture in an organization, and if not corrected, can create major issues. 

What are the best methods to implement a food safety culture within a small, diverse and seasonal team? 

To ensure a food safety culture, an effective communication plan is crucial. Be sure you understand the native cultural values of your team member’s country of origin. By understanding their values and why they are important, you can communicate your food safety culture in terms that will be easier to assimilate. 

The key to developing a food safety communication plan lies in the effective identification and thoughtful infusion of these diverse cultural values in your communication plan. I would even recommend letting your employees choose the values they would like to follow  in order to uphold your organization's food safety standards. For example, employees coming from countries where righteousness is considered a key aspect of their culture, might  choose to uphold food safety standards because doing things the right way, is already a key part of their way of living. In other words,  righteousness is one of their food safety values.  

Is there a template for implementing the food safety culture program? 

The development of a food safety culture is a complex process. AIB International  developed a framework for food safety culture planning and development  that includes a food safety obstacle assessment as well as a model maturity assessment. You can read more about this topic in Food Safety Culture Online

Join us for our next Food Safety Culture webinar on April 7, where we will be discussing assessing the current maturity of your organization’s Food Safety Culture. 

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