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.
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 FoodManufacture.co.uk’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 Michael.email@example.com. More details about this online event – organised in association with business law firm DWF – are available here.