Food Safety Conference

Food safety culture ‘important for product delivery’

By Matt Atherton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Food safety culture plays an important role in delivering a high quality product, says Kolak Snack Foods head of technical Sterling Crew.

In this exclusive video interview, filmed at the Food Manufacture Group’s Food safety conference on June 22, Crew said the food and drink sector was beginning to realise the importance of shaping a food safety culture, as opposed to simply providing safety training.

‘The weakness of training’

“The weakness of training is you think you’ve done the job,”​ said Crew. “It’s not just about training, it’s about getting people to do the right thing, and that’s where culture comes in to play.

“It’s only now I think the industry is waking up to see that culture is playing a major role in delivery. I think there has been some great successes in health and safety, where they’ve spent a lot of time looking at culture, and I think it’s about time we brought that way of working into our industry.”

Also in this video interview, Crew describes how developing a food safety culture in the workplace was more beneficial than training.

‘A big, ugly guy’

Crew said: “I’m a big, ugly guy. If I stand next to a hand washbasin, I’ll guarantee you that 100% of people going by that hand washbasin will wash their hands. But, if I’m not there – if I’m on the other side of the room and can’t be seen – you don’t often get that 100% compliance.

“People always give you a good reason why they’re not doing it. The reason they give isn’t ‘I haven’t been trained’. The reason they normally give is ‘I’ve got something more important to do, or someone’s told me to do this’. That’s where culture comes in to affect people’s behaviour.”

Food Manufacture’s Food safety conference took place on June 22 at Woodland Grange, Leamington Spa. The conference, chaired by Campden BRI director general Professor Steven Walker, was sponsored by: Checkit, Dycem, eurofins, Ishida, Pal International, Westgate Factory Dividers.

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