March/April 2023 - 21

How to overcome roadblocks
to a stronger food safety culture
I think we all agree
By Dana Slagle
Vice President,
US Partnerships,
that there is a level of
complexity to building
and maintaining a
world-class food safety
program. It will never
be easy to navigate the
constantly changing
rules and regulations.
Here's the positive
news: subject matter
share best
practices that can make it much easier
to foster a strong food safety culture. Here
are three that you might find helpful.
Develop a 'food safety culture
Alan Grant, who spent years with NSF
International and Sobeys, now operates
his own consulting firm. I asked Alan if
he viewed " food safety culture " as a buzz
term. " It's not a buzz term, " he said. " As a
matter of fact, we can expect a continued
focus on food safety culture over the
next few years. When working with my
clients, I always recommend creating a
food safety culture scorecard. This visual
helps them understand where they are at
and the progress they are making. " Many
well-respected companies use this type
of scorecard and say the key is keeping
it simple so that it doesn't overwhelm
the team.
PMMI, Continued from Page 20
mitigation measures or knowledge
* Review regulat ions to ident ify
provisions that may be strengthened
* Identify prevention measures that can
be taken to reduce future incidences
of foodborne illness
* Identify knowledge gaps to expand
understanding of food safety issues
and limit recurrences of underlying
Food safety culture
can be competitive edge
There are many obvious reasons why
food safety culture is important. One
often overlooked benefit is related to
competitive advantage. Doug Bulgrin,
onion packing shed manager with Gumz
Farms, said: " I'm comfortable bringing
customers to our facility at any time since
we have a strong food safety program.
This gives us a leg up over our competition
and our customers have more peace of
mind. " Cassie Krebs, Gumz Farms food
safety coordinator, agreed, adding that " in
order to stay ready for a customer visit or
an audit, our team has a focus on diligent
organization and task management. "
Use automation to improve
Why is developing a strong food safety
culture challenging? Patrick Brown,
senior quality assurance and food safety
director for Rite Aid, points out that " it
has been especially difficult since COVID
because of labor issues. A strong food
safety culture requires collaboration and
consistency. When there is a revolving
door in terms of staffing, it is harder to get
buy-in from the team and have everyone
on the same page. " So if you are shortstaffed,
think about small steps your team
can take towards being more consistent
and collaborative. Many companies which
root causes responsible for an outbreak
or adverse event (3)
Digital platforms and food safety
tactics will be just two of the technologies
displayed at PACK EXPO Las Vegas (Sept.
11-13, 2023, Las Vegas Convention
Center). For more information, visit
1 Gartner, " Gartner Identifies the Top
Strategic Technology Trends for 2022, "
News Release, Oct. 18, 2021.
Many companies which
automate workflows
related to compliance
requirements see a
marked improvement in
automate workflows related to compliance
requirements see a marked improvement
in consistency.
If you would like to learn more about
improving organization and consistency
through digital solutions, reach out to
Provision Analytics. Provision provides
easy-to-use, cost-effective digital solutions
result in time savings and reduced
Dana Slagle is a Certified Professional
of Food Safety and works closely with
Provision's Partner Network, which is made
up of some of the most well-respected food
safety firms in the industry.
Provision Analytics provides cloudbased
technology with digital solutions
that help small, medium and large food
companies operate more efficiently and
mitigate compliance risks. We work with all
GFSI schemes including, but not limited to,
GlobalG.A.P., PrimusGFS, SQF, BRC and
2 FDA, " FSMA Final Rule on Requirements
for Additional Traceability Records for
Certain Foods, " Federal Register, Nov. 21,
2022, p. 70910.
FDA, " Prevention Strategies to
Enhance Food Safety, " Nov. 15, 2022,
Prevention Strategies to Enhance Food
Safety | FDA, accessed Feb. 16, 2012.
Jorge Izquierdo is vice president of market
development for PMMI, The Association for
Packaging and Processing Technologies.

March/April 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March/April 2023

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