We’re kicking off National Food Safety Education Month right by talking about the importance of food safety training in the Food & Beverage Industry! Started in 1994 by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s International Food Safety Council, National Food Safety Education Month (NFSEM) was created to bring awareness to the importance of food safety education. NFSEM occurs annually during September, and is accompanied by a new theme each year, as well as resources to foster and support effective food safety practices at home and in the food and beverage industry. So why is food safety training so important? Keep reading to find out!
Training Creates a Food Safe Environment
Unfortunately, many companies underrate the value of proper food safety training and the positive impact it can have on their organization, from regulatory compliance to brainstorming new ideas. Food safety education is a foundational prerequisite program necessary for organizations to create an environment to produce safe food. It fosters food safety culture because it helps create the mindset and behaviors, along with the knowledge and tools needed, to manufacture, process, pack, and hold safe food.
Companies can’t expect employees to produce and handle human food safely if they haven’t been properly trained in correct food handling practices. With a strong food safety training prerequisite program, food safety culture will become the heart and habit of the organization. Proper food safety practices will simply become the way of doing things and food safety culture will thrive.
Training Helps Maintain Regulatory & Industry Standards Compliance
Food safety training isn’t just beneficial as a prerequisite program. It is also a requirement of GFSI benchmarked standards, such as BRC and SQF, and is written into the FDA’s regulations promulgated under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Food safety training is also important in order to keep personnel informed of accepted industry food safety practices, regulatory and standard changes, and food safety updates. Whenever new regulations, requirements, or standards occur, food safety training is fundamental in educating personnel on the proper implementation and management of those new or updated food safety schemes.
It provides the basis for personnel to excel in proper food safety practices. Effective food safety training answers the questions: What are the requirements, regulations, and standards? Who is affected by these changes or additions? When are they to be implemented? Why are they important to the management of food safety? And How are they to be implemented, incorporated, and maintained in food safety management systems (FSMS)?
Training Fosters Team Building
Training is not only an important prerequisite program necessary to create an environment to produce safe food, but it can also be an opportunity for people to share their experiences, generate new ideas for the organization, and grow as a team. Each member of the organization brings a unique outlook and background to the organization. Gathering personnel together for food safety training oftentimes will create an environment for brainstorming and springboarding ideas to improve the organization’s food safety system.
If you don’t have a robust training program in your organization, you are missing out on opportunities to strengthen your FSMS by creating a food safe environment, complying with regulations and industry standards, and boosting your food safety culture through education and teamwork. Food Safety Training is an investment that has many potential benefits!
Interested in Food Safety Training?
Think your personnel could benefit from food safety training? Sign-up for one of our upcoming classes!
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Don’t have a training program in place? Let us know, and we’ll help you create a robust and effective food safety training program that works for your team!
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Be on the lookout for more articles on Food Safety Training throughout the month of September.