Food Defence in SA - What's the deal?

Clarice Oelofse
 January 21, 2015
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Food Safety

Google says: "Food defense is putting measures in place that reduce the chances of the food supply from becoming intentionally contaminated using a variety of chemicals, biological agents or other harmful substances by people who want to do us harm."

Typically in South Africa Food Defence is assigned to one person. They are expected to do it - quickly - during their tea break. Often, there are no resources available, no one who takes responsibility and no accountability.

“Remember the threat is real, but so is our response” – Rolf Uys, Food Defence Guru

Being in marketing, I have more or less an idea of what is required, but seriously, what do you do when the paw paw hits the food safety fan and E-News gets hold of this?

The following in an extract of what will be covered by Rolf in your Food Defence Workshop.


Reality is:

  • Media are motivated by profit
  • If you don’t fill the void, someone else will
  • They will cover the story – with or without you

Basic rules of media relations: 

  • Do not lie
  • Do not speculate
  • Respect media deadlines
  • Be open with them, but brief
  • Try to keep control over the interview
  • Have your own message to convey and convey it!

Journalists want to know:

  • What happened?
  • How did it happen?
  • What are you going to do about it?

Things to avoid:

  • Saying “no comment” or “off the record” or “I will neither confirm or deny”
  • Treating the public like children
  • Down playing your mistakes
  • Using over-used phrases
  • Humor

So, best we prepare for the unthinkable. Rolf Uys will be talking  about Food Defence in depth in the upcoming months, with workshops taking place in Tshwane, Western Cape & Port Elizabeth. Food Defence will be covered in detail during the workshop, or Rolf can consult with you and develop a customised food defence plan for your facility.

You can reach him via email - rolf@entecom.co.za


Article written with help from Rolf's notes.

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