Alchemy Systems, Austin, Texas, released the results of its fifth annual Global Food Safety Training Survey.

The report, “Building Strong Food Safety Cultures with Effective Training Programs,” is sponsored by Alchemy Systems; Campden BRI, UK; Safe Quality Food Institute, Arlington, Va.; British Retail Consortium, London; Grocery Manufacturers Association Science & Education Foundation, Washington, D.C.; NSF International, Ann Arbor, Mich.; SGS North America, Rutherford, N.J.; and TSI, Shoreview, Mich. The survey solicited data from food safety professionals working at 1,400 companies across 20 food industry sectors on food safety training programs worldwide.

Survey responses indicate that companies are highly committed to building strong food safety cultures, and are investing to continually improve their programs. Specifically,

  • 74% believe they have a clear vision for improving food safety;
  • 55% responded that their company is a leader in food safety; and
  • 83% believe they are able to provide the food safety training needed to drive behaviors.

“The survey shows a strong management commitment to food safety, but there are execution gaps that still need attention,” says Raj Shah, chief strategy officer. “For example, 67% of respondents indicated that they still have employees not consistently following their food safety procedures.”

The Top 3 food safety training challenges identified are:

  • Scheduling the time for training employees;
  • Verifying the effectiveness of training, and
  • Organizing refresher training.

Leading companies are tackling these safety training challenges with best practices such as shorter training sessions, automating learning records and providing tablets and training tools to supervisors, so they can train and coach employees directly on the facility floor.

“The survey is a great tool for companies to benchmark compared to their peers and continuously improve their own food safety training programs,” says Laura Nelson, vice president of food safety.