Education & Training

Education: Gaining knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits through methods of discussion, teaching and storytelling.

Training: The action of teaching a person how to perform a particular skill or type of behavior.

In food safety we commonly utilize food safety education practices to teach employees about proper handling, foodborne hazards, regulatory compliance, or company policies and why these are important to producing safe food. All employees should be educated and fully understand the importance of their role. Food safety training on the other hand involves one-on-one and hands-on application of what was discussed through their education and how to successfully apply this to their daily duties. This can be done by a shift leader or by partnering them with another employee for a period of time until they feel comfortable enough to perform the job on their own.

    It’s important to understand that both are important and can help achieve a particular behavior in an employee. It has been proven that knowledgeable employees are more likely to take pride in their job and do what is expected of them. So, here are a few tips for designing education and training materials to influence a positive food safety behavior:

    Utilize personal stories for individual cases as opposed to statistics. For example, if allergens are a risk in your facility find cases of consumers that suffered long term health consequences or death from mistakes made by a manufacturer.

    Stop Foodborne Illness has an excellent collection of stories that can be sorted by Pathogen or State.

    Research recalls associated with foodborne hazards, determine what other organizations did wrong and learn from it. Share this information with your employees so they know their roles have real life risk and consequences.

    A list of recalls can be found through the FDA website.

      Communicate food safety through universal images that employees can understand no matter their primary language. Embrace a diverse workforce by making food safety visual.

      The International Association for Food Protection has free icons that can be downloaded.