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The Role of Employee Training in Food Safety and Quality

4/28/2021  By Kristine McDonald

 

The Role of Employee Training in Food Safety and Quality

Quality systems across food manufacturing rely heavily on employee training programs. Training employees to not only perform their job functions but to know and understand the quality systems is key to successful food safety and quality product manufacturing.

There are many reasons that training programs are important beyond performing job functions. An employee that has received adequate training to understand their job and the big picture of why their job is important to the finished product are more confident in their duties. A confident employee will lead to higher productivity and less mistakes. Employers that take the time and effort to provide employees with adequate training show the employee they are a valued part of the organization. More effective trainings lead to less mistakes, increased productivity, and increased employee performance. Another benefit of an effective training program is less employee turn-over. An employee confidant in their knowledge of their role in the manufacturing of a product increases the employee’s job satisfaction.

Training systems are essential to ensuring food safety and quality in food manufacturing. Employees understanding their job functions and duties are the first line to preventing mistakes and other possible errors that may cause serious food safety issues. Recalls are expensive and errors that result in recalls could cause harm or death to the consumers. Issues regarding allergen, product labeling, and bacterial contamination can all be caused from a failure to train the manufacturing personnel properly or effectively. Training to job functions and job duties, the “how to”, is important to manufacturing. Training to the reasons behind the job functions and duties related to food safety, the “why”, is equally important to assisting our personnel so they understand the important role they play in the overall food safety of the products.

Employees working in food manufacturing are trained that they must wash their hands, but an effective training program will not only instruct the employee to wash their hands but also why it is important for them to wash. An employee may be trained to ensure correct labels are used but understanding why it is crucial the label is correct is how we use training to lower potential risks to the product’s overall safety.

Management plays a significant role in ensuring training programs are effective. It takes commitment from management to provide sufficient time and resources to train all employees. Management must create a culture that cultivates education for job functions as well as the “why’s” behind the trainings. Management must also understand food safety fundamentals to build food safety into the culture of the manufacturing organization.

Here at Tree Top, Inc. we strive to provide our customers with safe and high quality products by ensuring our personnel receive effective training in job functions with a higher understanding in the reasons behind why each position is crucial to the product’s safety and quality.