hance employee engagement and buy-in while driving involvement through the organization. These management actions help define accountability as well as enhance
food safety culture.
Imbalance between use of positive and negative consequences
In many food companies, plant managers are recognized for their ability to make
quick decisions and create drive to get it done. Food safety management’s role is to
deploy science to help plant management promote safe food production through
the organizational culture, values, and norms.
The successful use of consequences helps in continuous improvement of food
or third-party audit. In the absence of
effective or strong leadership, managers
often tend to stay in their comfort zone
and work to set requirements rather
than making continuous improvements.
Food safety measurements based on
prevention and prediction vs. verification of the effects of the loss of control
are simply not practiced enough. Most
environmental monitoring programs
by design are only verification driven.
Verification positives mean we have lost
control of the process and food safety
issues can arise. Finding indicators of
the potential loss of control vs. finding
a zone 2 or 3 verification site, contact
surface, or product positive should
produce different reactions. We must
recognize risk and measure the critical
factors and indicators of process control
for continuous improvement.
Lack of personnel and cross-functional
Let’s take a 20,000-foot view of communication systems in plants. Daily
production and quality paperwork are
generated by operations and food safety
and quality. The information moves
upward in the organization in the form
of various reports. Some results are
shared with the workforce along with
problems encountered. The workforce
often gets the opportunity in some form
to reinspect, recondition, or rework
product that management doesn’t want
to ship. This downward-only communication chain can make individuals feel
like mushrooms: “Keep me in the dark
and feed me manure.” This may be an
extreme example, but the most common employee complaint is the lack of
Often missing is an open transparent
discussion between leaders and employees about what’s most important to individuals and their companies. This will
lead to conversations about competing
priorities and different expectations.
On the team side, many of the program
maintenance issues raised in audits today can be addressed easily and quickly
by cross-functional teamwork. The
problem is that we don’t do enough of
it, so we are losing the chance to en-
Tips for Staying Audit-Ready All Year
• Meet with your pest management provider (PMP) immediately after an
audit and discuss improvements that can be made.
• Keep your PMP updated on equipment changes and production issues.
• Make sure staff are aware of
changes to protocol, equipment,
or processes, and have them
speak up if they notice an issue.
• Include your PMP in internal
meetings so they are updated
on all topics and are treated as a
part of the team.
• Communicate up and down
the supply chain regarding your
facility sanitation procedures.
• Know what you are being
audited against and be prepared
to speak up and defend what you
Implement a Process:
• Having a routine is key, so make sure to develop and implement a process.
Consistent use of rules and regulations will ensure a more stable facility.
• Document your sanitation processes and include notes on how to improve.
• Develop a master sanitation schedule and follow it.
• Explain the pest management process to new employees so they are aware
of all procedures.
• Have your employees document pests or conducive conditions as they
notice them. Your PMP will document pest sightings, but they aren’t the
only ones who can make note of these things.
Use Your Technician as Your Pest Management Partner:
• Your technician has the unique advantage of seeing inside multiple food
processing facilities in any given week—use their expertise to your benefit.
• Make sure you understand what your PMP is implementing and why.
• Ask your PMP questions that can help improve your IPM and sanitation
process. Anything from “what pests are common in facilities” to “how can
we better prepare for our next audit”?
For more information, visit www.indfumco.com or call 800.477.4432.