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MY FOOD SAFETY FRUSTRATION # 1

Angela Jordan
 August 17, 2019
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We really enjoyed reading about this "food safety frustration" from one of our followers. We thought we woyuld share it with you because it's so relatable. Our Entecom franchisee from East London, Angela Jordan, provides a solution for this frustration.

 

THE QUESTION WE POSED TO OUR ENTECOM FOLLOWERS:

When it comes to food safety, my biggest food safety frustration is...:

 

Here is the first of 5 food safety frustrations from industry that we will share will you:

 

MY FOOD SAFETY FRUSTRATION # 1:

Trying to will my staff to want to be better at food safety not because it's the law but because it's

the right thing to do.
 

Entecom suggestion (Angela Jordan):

Staff willingness and consistency in food safety management, is often a challenge we hear in food production environments.  Not getting this right can certainly break your system.  We have found that getting all the staff onboard from the beginning really helps.  Staff need to fully understand the reasons for doing what they are doing and what the repercussions of not doing those things could be (possible food poisoning / death, law suits, loss of customers, job losses, poverty etc).  Staff want to know WIIFM (What Is In It For Me?). An emotional connection to the goal is what keeps people motivated. Getting staff to care about what they do every day is quite a challenge and it takes some creativity to keep the positive feelings about food safety alive. When staff are emotionally disconnected it is easier to take short cuts or to stop following essential food safety practices.

Many people are weary of change, and if staff understand that the reason for these changes are not someone’s idea of being difficult, it makes it a lot easier to get their buy in. Finding the reason and making an emotional connection to this reason will keep staff motivated.
 
The full system needs to be completely entrenched, with buy-in from the CEO, right down to the chap who takes the refuse out.  Besides your normal annual awareness training with the staff, we have found short toolbox talks, once a week with the staff really help.  These are little reminders for the staff, of what they should be doing.  Items such as an effective hand washing demonstration, how to store my PPE, what happens at the lab after a swab is taken or what do I do when I see a pest? etc can be discussed.  Making the topics fun, interactive and exciting, by using bright colours, physical demonstrations, group quizzes and deciding on a "food safety hero" of the week, badge and all!  Make sure that you engage discussion and have fun. It should not feel like school detention, where the teacher walks around with a ruler, ready to reprimand those that have done wrong.   It is advisable to keep the sessions short, so that you can keep the interest in the topic and it does not impact on production time! About 3-5 minutes per toolbox discussion should be adequate, which includes a short presentation of the topic, discussion and questions.  Draw up a weekly schedule on your topics, so that it gives you time to prepare adequately.  Get the rest of the team involved!
 
Another very effective tool is a competition between departments.  One of our clients have a competition running between their work areas and they based it on Soccer teams, as this is popular with their staff.  Points were either scored or deducted for good or bad behaviours, such as scoring well on hand swabs, or losing a goal if they did not complete a record correctly.  This once again needs to be a very visual tool, with pictures of the team players in their kit, score posters and signs throughout the factory with items such as “Score!” and “Have you made your goal today?” encouraging staff to be involved.   Soon all staff in the various areas were watching each other to make sure that no-one slipped up, as they wanted the winning braai at the end of the year!  

 

If you are looking for topics for your "ToolBox Talks" take a look at our colourful A5 Pocket Booklets here . These booklets are a great way of creating a monthly theme for your "Toolbox Talks".

Good luck and have fun!

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