Food and beverage

What is your company's food safety culture?


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Consumers trust you to keep them safe. A company with a mature food safety culture produces safer food. With DNV's toolbox, you can start an effective journey to a mature food safety culture.

DNV conducted a study in 2020 and a third of all respondents stated the lack of a food safety culture was the main threat to food safety. Operational risk is still the main concern, requiring a strong food safety management system, for example. With the cost of foodborne illness in the U.S. being more than $15.6 billion every year, more is needed. Globally, 600 million – almost 1 in 10 people globally - fall ill and an estimated 420,000 die, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

What is a food safety culture?

Food Safety culture is built from the food safety attitudes, values and beliefs shared by a group of people.  The combination determines the commitment to and robustness of your organization’s food safety management. Your food safety culture reflects “how you work to make food safe around here!” The safety culture principles apply to any company operating with considerable risks. Drawing on extensive experience from other high-risk industries, our toolbox is tailored for food & beverage companies to help prevent outbreaks, recalls and other food safety issues.

How will my company and consumers benefit?

It is proven in other high-risk industries that a mature safety culture:

  • Reduces incident and accident levels
  • Helps reassure stakeholders and the workforce that health and safety is a priority
  • Improves employee awareness and involvement in safety
  • Increases confidence that existing safety initiatives are the correct areas to focus
  • Allows management to focus safety initiatives on the right locations/departments
  • Enables a better understanding (tracking) of whether safety initiatives have been successful
  • Supports a return on investment for safety initiatives and safety budgets. 

How does it fit with my food safety management system?

A food safety culture program compliments a strong food safety management system (FSMS). Targeting people’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors can help you get more out of your FSMS. A strong FSMS is fundamental, providing the necessary foundation to manage risks, have a structured approach and continually improve. A mature food safety culture can be the next logical step, focusing on the human element, to further strengthen your food safety efforts.

Where to start?

Food safety culture takes time and continuous effort and diligence to build. We propose a multi-faceted approach to assess, monitor and continually improve your journey:

  1. Self-assessment
  2. Self-assessment review
  3. Full assessment
  4. Moving up the maturity continuum
  5. Proactive engagement
  6. Re-assessment and continual improvement.

Take our self-assessment demo

  1. Take the online self-assessment survey demo. Click on the link below to provide your honest answers on the 5 dimensions of the GFSI model: vision & mission, people, consistency, adaptability and risk perception.

    Online Self-Assessment Survey Demo 

  2. All data is collected & analyzed by the DNV team. Ask a DNV representative to show you the analytics dashboard!
  3. To conclude the first stage in our toolbox, you receive a maturity report for your company and selected sites, collating all data. Click the Demo Maturity Report link below to see an example.

    Maturity Report Demo Example 

What attributes does the DNV toolbox help business assess and address?

The food safety culture toolbox is divided into 7 main attributes. It can be tailored to any Food Safety Culture protocols, such as GFSI’s.

  • Leadership
  • Organizational knowledge and communication
  • Encouragement
  • Work environment and conditions
  • Operational discipline
  • Teamwork and mutual care
  • Risk perception and identification 

The DNV team working with you includes food safety and behavioral experts.  Our auditors bring extensive experience from a range of industries worldwide, using a suite of tools and techniques developed to address risks.

The final assessment analyses your maturity levels, expressed as a grade. Insight is shared on positive aspects as well as opportunities for improvement for each of the attributes. Giving an overall conclusion and understanding of each departments’ maturity, you can benchmark and more easily measure your progression.

See our Food Safety Culture Program brochure

Food Safety Culture Program Brochure

Contact us:

OnDemand Webinar Series: Food Safety Culture

Register Now

Food Safety Culture Self-Assessment Survey Demo

Access Now

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