The Food Safety Language
A career in food safety is not an easy one. It is a stressful profession that requires dedication and a commitment to learn continuously and to teach, to communicate effectively to an audience, in most cases, obstinated and not open to listen. After all, the food safety language is not easy to understand. It is for most people a boring topic, not interesting. Moreover, engaging in meeting food safety standards is considered cumbersome, not value added, costly and an incovenience to the busines flow.
Communicating the food safety language has become more difficult due to all the terms used and requirements, typically known with acronyms for program or institutions. We can’t blame others when they are confused and uninterested when in the communication we use reference to the need to implement programs such as GMP, HACCP, HARPC, VACCP, or when we talk about GFSI schemes or FSMA regulations, only to mention a few.
A food safety professional has a difficult task to effectively communicate and convince. In this communication, the food safety professional must be able to stress out cost-benefits and the impact if an effective plan is not developed. It all starts by making people understand what is acceptable and what is not acceptable; what it is a true food safety concern.
Convencing the Audience
It is not uncommon to have upper level managers question the concerns due to unsanitary conditions. Presence of mold, algae, mildew, insects and contaminants are evidence of poor house keeping. As food safety professionals we might have managers disagree with our concerns stating that these issues are simply a aesthetic matter with no impact on the safety of the food product. Hopefully, that is correct and the lack of hygiene does not result in the growth of pathogenic microorganisms, but……how likley is it? Fear what you do not see.
Food Safety and Legality
As leaders in food safety the effort also focus in communicating the legal implications of not meeting food safety practices. The only defense is prevention and it must be understood that if the company manufactures and distributes a product that causes someone to be sick or injured, the plant is going to pay if the situation could have been prevented. The company must prove due diligence in setting up programs to avoid the situation.
Think of the food safety program as a friendly insurance policy you hope you never have to use but, if things go wrong, it can see you through. It also provides a competitive advantage over non-conforming competitors and it truly puts the industry in the driver’s seat of preventing public health hazards. I like to compare the food safety plan to the “Get Out Of Jail, Free” card of a monopoly game.
Helping the Food Safety Sector
ROC Food Safety is a minority owned consulting company dedicated to assist food growers, processors and distributors of food products in the process of communication, understanding, and in the implementation of robust food safety programs with an easy and effective approach designed to meet food laws and regulations and global standard initiatives.
ROC Food Safety helps take the burden off your hands with highly qualified and accredited training, consulting and auditing services setting the business up for success.
We are here ready to serve you!