BSI puts focus on food safety culture with new guidance

BSI puts focus on food safety culture with new guidance

Relevant to anyone from manufacturers and factory workers to restauranteurs and baristas, the guidance has been published by the British Standards Institution (BSI) following extensive sector discussion on food safety culture, including what it is, how to measure it and how to ensure continuous improvements.

Food industry majors – including Walmart, McDonald’s, PepsiCo, HelloFresh, Kerry Foods and 3M – have all been involved in drafting the guidance.

Positive food safety culture

The document – named PAS 320 – includes steps on identifying gaps and then implementing a plan for change. It makes recommendations related to leadership; the organization’s vision, mission, values and policy; organizational structure; responsibilities, accountabilities and authorities; guiding coalition team; interested parties; change champions; influencers; and food safety documentation.

In particular, the guidance also includes advice on how prioritizing people in the sector not only supports improved food safety, but also brings other benefits including investment return, business performance improvement, reduction of the costs associated with poor quality, and enhanced efficiency. For example, the guidance notes that creating and maintaining a strong culture that preserves quality and reduces risk requires management commitment and a mindset that safety is the responsibility of everyone at every stage of the food supply chain.

The guidance is published at a time when packaging and labelling regulations is being led by the Food Standards Agency following the UK’s exit from the European Union through Brexit. New allergen labelling laws that came into force in the UK last year also require businesses to label all food that is pre-packed for direct sale with a full list of ingredients, with the 14 major allergens including milk emphasised in the list.