Food Safety Culture

There is no doubt that Food Safety Standards have improved significantly over the past twenty years in all sectors of the supply chain driven primarily by major product recalls, GFSI and retailer standards. Large multinational food manufacturers have also driven improvements through increased expectations of the upstream supply chain.

As companies’ food safety management systems have matured with 10-15 years of BRC or FSSC Certification, the expectation now is that Food Businesses have a strong Food Safety Culture. If most CEOs were asked, ”Do you have a strong Food Safety Culture?” they would all say “yes” believing that they do, but do they?

In challenging oneself as to whether your Food Business really has a best practice Food Safety Culture you must first establish what is culture?

There are many definitions to be found but the following two are perhaps the more accurate and thought provoking respectively:

“Culture is the system of knowledge shared by a relatively large group of people.”


“Culture is communication, communication is culture”

It is then up to your entire organisation from CEO to shop floor operator to “communicate” to your customers in a manner that assures them that you won’t let them down.

Currently the BRC global standard for Food Safety requires senior mnagement to define and maintain a clear plan for the development and continuing improvement of a food safety and quality culture.

This plan will typically be broken down into four key sections as follows. Each section of the plan will have five sub sections. An outline of what is required is given below.

The Food Safety and Quality culture plan should address the ‘The Four P’s’ as outlined below.

  • People
  • Process
  • Purpose
  • Proactivity

Each of these key elements should then by focussed on. A simple guide is laid out below as advised by the BRC in conjunction with TSI.


  • Empowerment.
  • Reward
  • Teamwork
  • Training
  • Communication


  • Control.
  • Coordination.
  • Consistency.
  • Systems.
  • Premises.


  • Vision.
  • Values.
  • Strategy.
  • Targets.
  • Metrics.


  • Awareness.
  • Foresight.
  • Innovation.
  • Learning.
  • Investment.

This course is run through Shannon Quality Training for more information please contact us.

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