A new survey by Campden BRI, Alchemy Systems, LP and in partnership with BRC and SQF questioned 649 food and drink manufacturers and processors worldwide to identify the needs, effectiveness and challenges of food safety training in the industry. While companies recognized improved product quality and higher employee morale as the greatest benefits of effective food safety training, over 70 percent of those surveyed said finding the time for training was the greatest challenge. Other  barriers cited included verifying the effectiveness of training (43 percent), dealing with  language issues when delivering a consistent training program across  global sites (28 percent), resource problems (24 percent) and keeping the training curriculum up-to-date (24 percent).

The companies surveyed represent a cross section of the industry, drawn from across the world. They ranged in size from under 50 employees to over 1,000 and cover many sectors including cereal and baking, dairy, meats, fish and poultry, and packaging. Almost 85 percent of food companies use on-the-job training, which was closely followed by reading policies, refresher courses and traditional classroom-based learning. It is worth noting that e-learning and interactive training were used by 39 percent and 14 percent of companies, respectively. However, with only 66 percent of companies stating they are very satisfied or satisfied with the quality of training undertaken there is clearly room for improvement. The biggest deficiencies identified were a lack of employee understanding and incomplete training records.

To read the full results of the study, which surveyed companies on all areas of food safety from auditing and measuring competency to management of training records, please visit online.