The survey was sent to 25,000 manufacturing sites worldwide to identify the needs, effectiveness and challenges of food safety training in the industry.
The fourth of its kind, it was carried out by Campden BRI and training provider Alchemy, in partnership with several food safety standards owners, including the British Retail Consortium.
It found that many companies were not exploiting the specialist expertise available in their human resources (HR) departments. It also found that traditional training methods were favoured over online provision.
Improving food safety
Improving food safety culture was stated as the most important training goal ahead of effective employee performance, creating safe, wholesome products and skills development.
And an improved food safety culture was named as one of the top benefits of effective training.
Yet, fewer than half of those surveyed said food safety culture was currently included in their company’s training programme.
Value of training
Furthermore, only 35% said the level of food safety culture was considered when measuring the value of training. Even fewer (19%) said food safety culture audits were used to measure sustained positive food safety behaviours.
Three-quarters of those surveyed said the responsibility for food safety training either rested with quality control or technical staff.
In only 8% of cases was HR primarily responsible, suggesting large numbers of those surveyed were not exploiting specialist resources available in their HR departments.
The survey also found that the use of interactive technology and computer-based e-learning were making slow progress in adoption and were perhaps surprisingly still among the least frequently used methods.
Meanwhile, ensuring the safety of food and drink products will take centre stage at the Food Manufacture Group’s one-day food safety conference on Thursday October 13 at etc.venues, Prospero House, Southwark, London.
This year’s event – Boosting consumer confidence in times of change – will again be chaired by Professor Colin Dennis, president of the Institute of Food Technologists (USA).