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Poll: Quality culture (38 member(s) have cast votes)

Does your company have a food safety culture?

  1. Yes, a strong one (4 votes [10.53%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 10.53%

  2. We're working on it (20 votes [52.63%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 52.63%

  3. It's early days (5 votes [13.16%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 13.16%

  4. Not even close (9 votes [23.68%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 23.68%

  5. Other (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#1 GMO

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 09:10 AM

Have you got a food safety culture.  How did you get there or how are you working towards it?  What are the benefits?  How did / are you convincing people?


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#2 Wowie

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 01:18 PM

I answered "Yes, a strong one."

 

This has absolutely nothing to do with me! Even though I posted recently about the lack of audits performed while the company had no quality manager for a year, senior management was absolutely not aware of that situation and had, in fact, made sure the audits were being performed for the first several months of no quality manager.

 

The reason we have a strong food safety culture is the amount of Quality and Food Safety experience we have in our Senior operations managers. The President and Senior Director were both quality managers. Aside from that, they are committed to protecting the brand and our customers brands, which means protecting the customer. They see the correlation, and have no problems (so far) backing me on changing things that have been normal operations without a question. In three weeks, we've discussed and changed how smocks are separated from street clothes, the amount of focus on floor and trash personnel and their separation from the line and line workers, and even went to a metal detectable zip tie that cost 10x as much, even though they haven't had a problem with the white, non-metal detectable ones (yet!). I am very lucky. 

 

At my previous company (very large), senior management pushed food safety culture down, but they pushed down numbers more frequently. Weekly calls were 90% efficiencies and variances, and 10% quality, customer focus, and food safety items. At the plant level, at every plant I was at, there was a huge divide between quality and operations. I'm not proud of how I always handled myself, but I did the best I could with the relationship we all had. 

 

Sorry for the long response. I just know my situation is unique, and I'm happy to be here. When I presented my first facilities audit in a meeting, I was expecting some backlash, but instead the senior team remarked on how ridiculous it was that people walked past what I had documented everyday without it being solved. I was speechless for the first time in my career!


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#3 Simon

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 06:16 PM

Every company has one good or bad.

For anyone reading this topic who may be struggling getting 'buy in' from different levels in the business and may need some ideas to improve food safety culture take a look at some of the previous webinars and presentations on this subject in the videos library.

 

Regards,

Simon


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Best Regards,

Simon Timperley
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#4 GMO

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 07:49 AM

Every company has one good or bad.

For anyone reading this topic who may be struggling getting 'buy in' from different levels in the business and may need some ideas to improve food safety culture take a look at some of the previous webinars and presentations on this subject in the videos library.

 

Regards,

Simon

 

Thanks Simon I will take a look.


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#5 GMO

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 11:19 AM

Every company has one good or bad.

For anyone reading this topic who may be struggling getting 'buy in' from different levels in the business and may need some ideas to improve food safety culture take a look at some of the previous webinars and presentations on this subject in the videos library.

 

Regards,

Simon

 

Thank you Simon, that presentation was interesting (albeit a bit long for my short attention span) although my senior team (having shorter attention spans) would struggle even more.  If I sum it up it would be;

 

measure it

improve it

measure it again

 

I did like the comments about training being focussed on the learning needs not just what information you are trying to get across. 

 

Measuring it is tricky for us right now.  We have indirect measures through audit etc.  We've not done a company survey (yet) but I will make sure we are on the agenda when we do.  Face to face interviews would be very difficult time wise and ensuring you get an accurate picture (as it depends on the interviewer how honest they will be.)

 

I could think while I was watching it of several negative indicators of food safety culture in my business right now:

 

The CEO walked out of a meeting which was a technical requirement of BRC saying "I don't need to be here"

We've had some very short notice launches from our sales department

We have a list of corrective actions for audits which is as long as my arm and not being completed

The CEO thinks we can ask not to comply with some retailer standards

There is a "not my job" mentality from some functions when it comes to technical requirements

 

I suppose my question for all of you with CEOs who don't see technical as adding value; how did / are you turning them around?  I know come appraisal time that if I've not worked on a project which has saved money, he will say I've not been performing well but I have worked on 101 projects which prevented cost / poor reputation / harming customers but that wouldn't count?  :helpplease:


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#6 ChristinaG

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 06:25 PM

 

There is a "not my job" mentality from some functions when it comes to technical requirements

 

 

This!! The plant I work at right now is having this issue. I think it partly stems from a combination of low wages and long, 12-hr shifts that make people only willing to do what they consider "their job," even though strong commitment to food safety should be in everyone's job description.

 

We're a...bit of an odd company in that we're the only American plant from our "parent" company overseas. So there are some cultural clashes that need to be continuously addressed between upper management (majority of whom are from overseas), our employees, and our temporary workforce. 

Mostly it's about the cost of maintaining our SQF standards when it comes to training, maintenance, and a few other items. Luckily the Operations Manager is all about food safety and SQF, and takes my input and our audits seriously (so we team up to take on management). And our last SQF was a huge wakeup call to our management team, because we were uncomfortably close to a 6-month checkup (which would have meant more money to pay for re-certification).

 

GMO, is there a way you could try to put value on the projects you've accomplished? For instance, calculating out the time and cost saved by not having to rework product or loss of a product due to machine breakdown? Is there a similar competitor you can compare your site to, especially if there's news that a competitor/similar plant had a recall due to xyz (and xyz are problems in your plant, as well). Or could you be conducting internal audits/inspections on a certain basis and then put together a chart showing progressive improvement, along with talking points as to why that improvement was necessary (to abide by food safety standards, regulations, etc. or to prevent a critical control point)?

 

I'm sorry I can't offer specifics, because I don't know the kind of site you're working in. I hope I was some help.


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#7 QAGB

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 01:31 PM


 

The CEO walked out of a meeting which was a technical requirement of BRC saying "I don't need to be here"

We've had some very short notice launches from our sales department

We have a list of corrective actions for audits which is as long as my arm and not being completed

The CEO thinks we can ask not to comply with some retailer standards

There is a "not my job" mentality from some functions when it comes to technical requirements

 

 

This!! The plant I work at right now is having this issue. I think it partly stems from a combination of low wages and long, 12-hr shifts that make people only willing to do what they consider "their job," even though strong commitment to food safety should be in everyone's job description.

 

 

 Yep, this too is my struggle. It's also a pet peeve of mine to hear someone say "it's not my job or not my responsibility". If we all lose our jobs due to a recall, it really won't be any of our jobs anymore.

 

I know all too well when department leads refer to their area as "my blenders, my lines, etc."; and then when something unfortunate happens "well it wasn't my responsibility to do that". If you want to call something yours, then own it at all times. I've had someone in production make a quality decision, and then when I found out about it, they said "well I just thought it was ok since we're going to do this to it", and when I asked them if they were going to submit a non-conformance report about it "well, that's not my responsibility". They took the 'initiative' to decide something was ok when it clearly wasn't, but wouldn't take responsibility to submit the report for creating the issue in the first place.

 

I find that while the long hours possibly factor into it here, it's more so the mindset of not wanting to get in trouble. People don't want to own up to the issues, because they know there will be consequences for their actions. Then you get excuses or people turning a blind eye instead of letting QA know, which makes it even worse when we do find out about it later on.

 

I think many of us wish we were in Wowie's situation (I know I do). No one higher up in my organization has worked in QA, which makes it difficult because they have no idea what all we're even doing, what fires we fight, and how much we try to work with production on a day-to-day basis.

 

At times I see improvement in my organization, and other times it seems we've taken two steps backwards so it's very difficult to say we have a strong food safety culture at this time.

 

QAGB


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#8 Anika

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 05:44 PM

Not yet but Quality is starting to initiate it starting June of this year :gleam:


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#9 redfox

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 01:53 AM

Hello Simon,

 

I cascaded to staff the webinar titled "Behavioral Food Safety". It gave a positive attitude to our staff and rank-and-file about food safety.

 

regards,

redfox


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#10 Simon

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 05:42 AM

Great Redfox, I'm really pleased you got some use from it. :thumbup:

 

Regards,

Simon


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Need food safety advice?
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