Food Protection Trends - May 2012 - (Page 228)

“FOOD FOR THOuGHT” from YOuR PrESIDENT A t a meeting I attended in Australia, one of the speakers, Dr. Stuart Andrews, a food safety consultant from South Australia, talked about motivating people to change food safety behavior. The example he used was getting people to change the way they cleaned knives in a slaughterhouse. He cited social scientist Everett Rogers’ 1962 book, Diffusion of Innovations, that became the second most-cited book in the social sciences in the mid-2000s. Rogers characterizes people by the way they behave in response to a new idea or innovation. Some readily accept the new idea, others will accept it after evidence that it will be of value, and still others are very unlikely to accept a new idea. He proposes five categories to describe how people react to innovation, innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. Innovators and early adopters are those who have to have the new iPad the day it goes on sale or shortly thereafter, whereas laggards might never buy one. Early adopters are considered opinion leaders in their community. This information is helpful because it makes you realize that when training, you may need different approaches for your audience. In the example, the trainer was able to quickly convince the innovators and early adopters to change the way they cleaned their knives and they went on to convince the early and late majority to change. However, the laggards were unwilling to change their behavior without being forced to do so. Seems there may be no convincing the laggards. I expect most of us would like to think that we’re in the early majority–those who do not rush to embrace change but who can be won over to new ideas fairly easily. The talk reminded me of the work IAFP Past President Frank By ISABEL WALLS PRESIDENT “The leaders of an organization should choose to have a strong food safety culture” Yiannas has been doing in raising awareness of the need for behavioral change to improve food safety. Frank, who is currently the vice president of food safety at Walmart, wrote a book called Food Safety Culture: Creating a Behavior-based Food Safety Management System. In the book he noted that an organization’s food safety systems need to be an integral part of its culture. Culture consists of patterned ways of thought and behaviors that characterize a social group, which can be learned through socialization processes and persist through time. According to FrankYiannas, the goal of the food safety professional should be to create a food safety culture, not just a food safety program. Such a culture would influence how individuals within the group think about food safety, their attitudes toward food safety, their willingness to openly discuss concerns and share differing opinions, and, in general, the emphasis that they place on food safety. The leaders of an organization should choose to have a strong food safety culture as opposed to merely reacting to an issue or outbreak. Chris Griffith, a food safety consultant, has also published papers on establishing a food safety culture. He writes that to produce safe food consistently requires management’s commitment. A systems approach is needed, from production through consumption. A food safety culture can include food safety management systems and style, food safety leadership, food safety communication, food safety commitment, food safety environment and risk perception. According to Doug Powell, Professor of Food Safety at Kansas State University, creating a culture of food safety requires application of the best science with the best management and communication systems, including compelling, rapid, relevant, reliable and repeated multi-linguistic and culturally sensitive messages. He notes that the best food producers, processors, retailers and restaurants should go above and beyond minimal government and auditor standards and sell food safety solutions directly to the public. The best organizations will use their own people to demand ingredients from the best suppliers 228 FOOD PROTECTION TRENDS | MAY 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Protection Trends - May 2012

Food Protection Trends - May 2012
Sustaining Members
Food for Thought from Your President
Commentary from the Executive Director
Assessing Food Safety Practices in Farmers’ Markets
Managing Food Safety Hazards: Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli and Antibiotic-resistant Pathogens
IAFP Secretary Announcement
New Members
What’s Happening in Food Safety
Industry Products
IAFP 2012
Coming Events
Advertising Index
Journal of Food Protection Table of Contents
Booklet Order Form
Membership Application

Food Protection Trends - May 2012