The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is offering firms in the United Kingdom a chance to work on a food safety culture project.
UCLan and Cultivate Food Safety are inviting those in the industry to better understand their business’ culture of food safety through technology and an improvement cycle.
Food safety culture is generally described as an organization’s behaviors and norms toward food safety and a set of shared beliefs and values amongst employers and employees about how the process should work. Food safety culture has been identified as integral to keeping consumers safe.
The European Commission proposed adding food safety culture to regulation in 2020. In the same year, Codex Alimentarius revised its General Principles of Food Hygiene document to include elements important to achieve a food safety culture. In 2019, the University of Sunderland hosted a Food Safety Culture Conference.
Carol Wallace, Professor of Food Safety Management Systems at UCLan, said research shows when a business improves food safety culture, it also sees progress in wider operations and financial gain.
“We will combine academic and industry expertise to set up a system that businesses can tap into and in turn, it will allow us to identify industry needs and expand our research into culture enabled food safety performance,” she said.
How to get involved
Wallace, Sophie Wu of UCLan and Lone Jespersen of Cultivate, will work with businesses individually to collect and analyze data using a system to measure food safety culture.
Professor Wallace said all businesses have a food safety culture but it can range from weak to strong.
“The challenge for food companies is firstly to understand where their food safety culture is at on the continuum and then to strengthen it and move it towards the positive, more mature end of the scale,” she said.
Jespersen said the partnership would help boost food safety culture in UK companies.
“By combining the eagerness of UK businesses to continually improve with our global business experience and UCLan’s research expertise, we can engage with food businesses to gain ongoing insights through our technology platform and improve food safety performance for UK consumers and food businesses,” she said.
It is free for the first group of businesses that get involved in the project, which is funded by Cultivate and the Higher Education Innovation fund. Participants will also join a food safety culture network linking them to academic research. Those wishing to find out more or sign up should contact: CUCLanCultivate@uclan.ac.uk
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