The Global Food Safety Training Survey 2013, published Thursday by a partnership of four food safety support companies, includes feedback from 649 food and drink producers around the world.
Over 70 percent of the respondents cite “scheduling time for training” as a barrier to properly educating employees about best food safety practices.
Other barriers, each identified by over 20 percent of respondents, included lack of ability to verify that training is effective (43 percent), difficulty delivering training in appropriate languages (28 percent), lack of training resources (24 percent) and difficulty developing a curriculum (24 percent).
Overall, 66 percent of respondents reported being satisfied or very satisfied with training at their companies, while 44 percent were somewhat satisfied, dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.
“With food safety being so critical to the food industry, the importance of adequate training remains vital,” said Laura Dunn Nelson, Director of Industry Relations at Alchemy Systems, in a statement Tuesday. “The results of this study are an excellent way for food manufacturers and processors to benchmark their performance against their competitors and identify any opportunities for development.”
The survey also looked at the number of hours that supervisors and employees spend in food safety training each year. While 4-8 hours was the most common amount of time for both groups, with just under 30 percent of supervisors receiving this amount of training and over 30 percent of employees in this category, managers were more likely to have participated in more training hours than employees.
Of the topics covered in the companies’ food safety trainings, HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control points) was the one covered by the most firms, with about 97 percent reporting that HACCP was part of their training. Good manufacturing practices came next, at 96 percent, followed by sanitation, employee hygiene, a food safety program and an allergen program, all of which were covered at over 90 percent of companies surveyed.
Topics less likely to be covered at trainings included validation of food safety protocol, risk assessments, supplier quality assurance, root cause analysis, GFSI protocol and product sampling protocols, which came in at the bottom of the list, covered by less than 40 percent of trainings.
The majority of companies surveyed were based in North America (65 percent). European companies represented 22 percent of participants; 7 percent were from the Australia/Oceania region; 3 percent were from Africa; 2 percent were from Asia and 1 percent was from Central and South America.© Food Safety News