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Step 1 - Know

​Check your food safety culture

Step 1 of the resource kit will help you do a quick ‘health check' of your business's food safety culture. You'll get a picture of how your decision makers and team members rank the business's overall approach to food safety — from the general philosophy in the workplace, to training and monitoring arrangements, to the relationship with food regulators.

The questions have been designed as simple rankings (with space for optional comments) to give you a quick overview of how different groups rank key food safety areas.

How to use the questionnaire

To get the best picture you can of your food safety culture, choose a good cross-section of employees and decision makers to answer the questions.

People can fill in the questionnaire by themselves, or you might prefer to have someone ask them the questions. Some team members might be reluctant to openly tell you what they think, so you could have an independent third party ask the questions or give them the chance to fill in the questionnaire anonymously.

What to look for in the responses

By comparing responses you'll be able to see:

  • Relative strengths and weaknesses of different areas of your culture – for instance, if respondents mainly select the darker blue sections (right-hand end) of the scale then this suggests that area is relatively strong. On the other hand, if respondents have selected the lighter blue sections (left-hand end) of the scale, this may indicate an area you need to strengthen.
  • How different people or groups e.g. managers and general staff think about the culture may be especially useful. For instance, if your managers have indicated a certain area is strong (right-hand end of the scale) but your general staff have indicated it is a weaker area (the left-hand end), that area may need more work.

What to do next?

Once you've looked over the completed questionnaires, you may decide to strengthen certain areas in your business. Step 2: Do in this tool kit has been designed to help you. Your food regulator can also help.

Building a strong culture takes time and effort but you can make big differences with small, targeted changes. The knowledge, skills and attitudes of all your team are central. If you want to make a long-lasting difference, you're more likely to succeed if you give everyone a chance to contribute.

Resources

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