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Enhancing Food Safety Culture to Reduce Rates of Foodborne Illness

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  1. Enhancing Food Safety Culture to Reduce Rates of Foodborne Illness Dr. Ben Chapman Food safety extension specialist Dept of 4-H Youth Dev and FCS North Carolina State University benjamin_chapman@ncsu.edu

  2. Food safety culture The aggregation of the prevailing, relatively constant, learned, shared attitudes, values and beliefs contributing to the hygiene behaviors used within a particular food handling environment Griffith (2010)

  3. Food safety culture • It is a set of shared attitudes, values and beliefs around food safety • Production/sources • Handling/storage • Preparation • You can have a good food safety culture or a bad one

  4. Impact of actions Travis Cudney 2010 Champion Child Blind since age 2 Complications from a pathogenic E. coli infection

  5. Food safety culture • Maintaining a food safety culture means: • Operators and staff know the risks associated with the products or meals they produce • Know why managing the risks is important • Can effectively manage those risks • Demonstrable

  6. Fat Duck norovirus, England, 2009 Run by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal Voluntarily closed restaurant in Feb. 2009 Originally said it wasn’t food, but an airborne virus UK Health Protection Agency reported in Sept. 2009, 529 patrons ill with norovirusin January and February 2009 source was likely contaminated shellfish, including oysters that were served raw

  7. Fat Duck • Delayed response to the incident • Used inappropriate environmental cleaning productsStaff working when ill • up to 16 of the restaurant’s food handlers were reportedly working with norovirus symptoms before it was voluntarily closed

  8. Food safety culture • Yiannas (2009) • Culture not program • It is a choice • Leaders own the program • Talk about consequences • Provide consequences

  9. Maple Leaf Foods, Canada 2008 Listeria monocytogenes-contaminated deli meats caused 57 illnesses and 23 deaths contamination source was commercial meat slicers that had meat residue trapped deep inside the slicing mechanisms textbook risk communication,lousy risk management delay in warning the public

  10. Maple Leaf Listeria review Focus on food safety was insufficient among senior management at company and government Insufficient planning for a potential outbreak; Those involved lacked a sense of urgency at the outset of the outbreak Weatherill (2009) specifically identified the need for cultures of food safety at food processing companies, calling for ”actions, not words”

  11. Cultural factors influencing food safety performance Griffith, Livesey & Clayton (2010) Leadership Food safety managementsystems and style Commitment to food safety Food safety environment Risk perception Communication

  12. Maple Leaf – try harder Provide a chronological accounting of the outbreak Warning labels to packages of ready-to-eat meats for persons at high risk for listeriosis Testing results?

  13. Marketing food safety culture Distribution Retail/ foodservice Consumers Production Customer feedback

  14. Things to concentrate on • What are the barriers/roadblocks in your firm? • Provide tools/resources • Asking questions from vendors about their practices • have a system to know what the right answers are. • Share the food safety values are with all staff • And when you get good at it (or if you already are), market it

  15. Food safety culture • Relatively easy (or should be) to define poor food safety culture • More difficult to enact a good one • Griffith; Yiannas; Powell and Chapman • More will come

  16. External and internal • Demonstrate to their staff and customers that: • they are aware of current food safety issues • learn from others’ mistakes • food safety is important within the organization

  17. Dr. Ben Chapman benjamin_chapman@ncsu.edu Follow me on twitter @benjaminchapman 919 809 3205 www.foodsafetyinfosheets.com www.barfblog.com