Food safety and the costs of poor quality

Food safety should not be considered a cost, it is necessary to produce and market safe food and protect the brand. You need to pay attention to detail, focus on risk detection, stay up-to-date and make decisions based on science and the use of technology.

At the first 3M Latin America Virtual Safety Meeting, Fernando Avelleyra, global director of safety standards and controls at Walmart, emphasized the importance of companies following their safety programs.

He points out that when designing a food safety program, one must think about whether it is intended for the process in question and whether it is effective. What is written in the policies and procedures should be implemented.

“When we design a safety plan, we have to see if it is well thought out, that is, if we are talking about something as simple as washing hands, but if the number of sinks is insufficient or if the employee walks a lot to get to the sink or if there is no water, most likely he does not wash his hands, so that’s the importance of designing a security plan”, explains Avelleyra.

Hidden costs in security processes

It is important for the CEO of Walmart to have a strong security program in which, in addition to considering the tangible costs, the hidden costs must also be taken into account, which are:

  • Processing/rejections
  • Remember
  • Shame on the brand
  • Loss of reputation
  • Regulatory focus
  • Medical assistance
  • Bankruptcy
  • Disadvantages
  • Inspection
  • Loss of sales
  • Wasted time
  • Requirements
  • Excess stock
  • Moral cost

Elements of a food safety program

Programs must be thought of in a clockwise direction, which implies the following stages:

  1. Management: Objectives must focus on employees, processes and systems to strengthen the safety culture.
  2. Risk analysis: Risk detection and focus, including all areas of knowledge to implement good practice.
  3. Standards and controls: Emergency preparedness, incident and complaint management, regulatory change management.
  4. Communication: Repeating messages in different ways is good practice and helps align with the business. These messages must be clear and simple, which makes communication effective.
  5. Training: It must be audience oriented.
  6. Follow up and reply: Comparing information from different sources is a good practice.

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