Food Legislation and Standards News Ireland

Food Safety News Spring 2022 – Food Safety Culture

What is the purpose of (EU) 2021/382 and what are the implications?

Food Safety Culture

The newly published commission regulation (EU) 2021/382 amending regulation 852/2004 requires all food business operators to establish, maintain and provide evidence of an appropriate food safety culture.  This legal requirement is a new departure as culture can be quite a subjective matter.  To those of us working in Food Safety we are more accustomed to more measurable criteria such as micro 2073/2005 Chapter 1 & 2 or time x temperature parameters.  Before attempting to address food safety culture one must first understand what culture is.  Why does a group of people form a society with their own culture? Societal culture has five main elements to it.  All cultures have core values, be they music, language, sport, religion etc.  Around these values they perform rituals to help protect, grow and foster these values for themselves and the next generation.  These rituals must be performed by responsible leaders within that society helping to cement and protect the cultural identity.  If you belong to that culture you must then accept the behavioural standards within that society.  The behaviour of the individual within that culture or society is to protect and uphold the core values.  If this behaviour is not within the acceptable norms then the culture can be damaged.

The models above represent the culture model in general society and within a food business operation.

All Food Business Operators must establish and document what their core values are.  Procedures must then be established that protect these values.  These processes are to be implemented under the leadership of a responsible person which all leads to brand protection and potential growth.  The prescribed behaviour is the critical measurement of behaviour as one definition of culture is “what we do when no one is looking.”

To help implement the Food Safety Culture objective, food business operators need to adopt the Plan, Do, Check, Act Risk Management Framework so that the process can be planned, implemented and monitored which will ultimately drive the continuous improvement that is needed.

SQT’s Food Safety Culture One Day Training workshop explores the aforementioned tools to assist Food Business Operators develop a strategic plan to ensure compliance with regulation EU 2021/382.

Next Public Course 24th March 2022 (also available in-house)