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Warning: there's a whistleblower nearby

By Rick Pendrous , 01-Jun-2012

Where do you stand on whistleblowing? asks Food Manufacture's editor Rick Pendrous. Let us know by posting your views at the end of this article

Where do you stand on whistleblowing? asks Food Manufacture's editor Rick Pendrous. Let us know by posting your views at the end of this article

Where do you stand on whistle blowing? Is it the brave David standing up against Goliath to report something that is essentially wrong? Or is it more to do with the aggrieved employee with an axe to grind who just wants to get his revenge on his line manager?

Clearly, the answer depends where you are coming from. For those in power governments and senior directors of companies it can be seen as an attack on everything from national security to commercial confidence. Whereas for those often those at the coal face it's more likely to be about moral outrage: 'this practice is basically just not right'. And that could apply to poor hygiene or bullying in the workplace.

Catastrophic

Food and drink companies have a responsibility under the EU General Food Law Regulation 178/2002 to make products that are legal and safe. It's their duty and the consequences for getting it wrong as we have seen on far too many occasions can be catastrophic. So, is it right for workers who observe potentially dangerous practices in their workplaces to blow the gaff?

The Food Standards Agency's (FSA) chief scientist Dr Andrew Wadge is in no doubt that it is. Especially in these economically challenging times when there might be a temptation to cut corners as far as cleaning and hygiene is concerned.

Cut corners

But, Wadge also points out, it's not just the responsibility of those working directly for companies to report food risks; it's also the duty of third-party contractors whether they are employees of cleaning companies or analytical laboratories carrying out work for food companies. The FSA even has a whistle blowing procedure that people can use. Be warned.

To read more on Wadge's whistleblowing invitation to food manufacturers' employees, click here

To listen to our exclusive podcast interview on high-tech solutions to combat foodbourne illness, click here .

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