This path will require a level of employee understanding that moves beyond classroom onboarding and food safety training. Achieving superior awareness requires frontline workers to be immersed in prevention. Facilities can accomplish this by using tools such as microburst training, pre-shift huddle conversations, posters, digital signage, coaching, and positive reinforcement from supervisors.
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Consider implementing incentive programs to reward employees for identifying areas of concern. Monthly reinforcement demonstrates the critical role each employee plays and will ensure that each person is held accountable for his or her processes, equipment, and team. Getting the frontline to take ownership of your updated approach will help guarantee the longevity and success of the program.
Key to Success
Management’s role is crucial on this journey. Clear expectations need to be set so that employees understand food safety risks. Most importantly, leaders must respond when their employees communicate potential hazards. Facilities should recognize employee contributions to food safety. The importance of the employee’s role in prevention is reinforced when their identification of risks, reporting of issues, and their impact on food safety is celebrated.
Having every employee actively participate in prevention may be a path less traveled, but innovative companies are taking that path. Along the way, companies should rally every employee around food safety and preventive controls by recognizing and promoting their critical role in producing safe, wholesome products. These trail-blazing companies realize that frontline workers make all the difference not only for FSMA compliance, but also in overall operations.
Dunn Nelson serves as vice president of business development for Alchemy Systems. She has over 25 years of experience implementing food safety and quality control programs for processing, packaging, food service, and retail operations. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.