Food safety training blocked by ‘lack of time’

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food safety, Food

Just the job: On-the-job training was used by nearly 85% of food companies
Just the job: On-the-job training was used by nearly 85% of food companies
Lack of time for food safety courses and difficulties in measuring their effectiveness are the main barriers to effective training, a new survey of 649 global food and drink manufacturers and processors has revealed.

More than 70% of those surveyed reported that finding time for food safety training was the greatest challenge, according to the research conducted by Campden BRI, Alchemy Systems, and certification bodies BRC Global Standards and Safe Quality Food.

A further 43% said food safety training was obstructed by the difficulties of checking the effectiveness of training programmes.

Dealing with language challenges when delivering a consistent training programme across global sites was cited by 28% of firms.

Resource problems

Nearly a quarter (24%) identified resource problems, while the same proportion mentioned problems associated with keeping the training curriculum up-to-date.

The survey recorded opinions on all areas of food safety from auditing and measuring competency to management of training records.

Almost 85% of food companies use on-the-job training. That was closely followed by reading policies, refresher courses and traditional classroom-based learning.

E-learning and interactive training were used by 39% and 14% of companies respectively. Information on the food safety e-learning packages offered by’s publisher, William Reed Business Media, is available here​.

Food Manufacture​ is also staging a free, one-hour webinar on the lessons to be learned from the horsemeat crisis. More details can be found here​ or at the end of this article.

Meanwhile, only 66% of companies said they are very satisfied or satisfied with the quality of training undertaken. The biggest deficiencies identified were a lack of employee understanding and incomplete training records.

Food safety training

Bertrand Emond, head of membership and training at Campden BRI, said: “The results of this survey provide a complete picture of the current activities and practices in food safety training across the industry. By conducting the survey each year we will be able to track developments and trends, and develop solutions to some of the challenges identified.”

The companies surveyed ranged in size from fewer than 50 employees to more than 1,000. Sectors represented included cereal and baking, dairy, meats, fish and poultry, and packaging.

Laura Dunn Nelson, director of industry relations at Alchemy Systems, said: “With food safety being so critical to the food industry, the importance of adequate training results of this study are an excellent way for food manufacturers and processors to benchmark their performance against their competitors and identify any opportunities for development.”

The full results of the study are available here​.

Food Manufacture​ is staging a free, one-hour webinar focusing on how food businesses can protect against the consequences of another horsemeat scandal. To book a place at the webinar – which will take place at 11am on Thursday May 16 – email​. More details about this online event – organised in association with business law firm DWF – are available here​.

Related topics: Food Safety, Hygiene, safety & cleaning

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No cut and paste?

Posted by Don Schaffner,

My biggest impediment to training is the websites that don't let me cut and paste.

Report abuse

Food Safety

Posted by Russell LaClaire,

The biggest issue is the lack of commitment to food safety rather than time.

If it were a priority, time would be built in. As for measurement of effectiveness, the same applies.

Hire someone trained in food safety and make them independent.

Report abuse

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