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New fact sheet keeps Food Safety Culture top of mind

Industry Best Practice

APAL has welcomed the Fresh Produce Safety Centre’s release of the Food Safety Culture fact sheet, authored by food safety consultant Elizabeth Frankish.  

Elizabeth Frankish

The Food Safety Culture fact sheet is provided for the Australian and New Zealand fresh produce industries. 

Andrew Mandemaker, APAL Head of Group Quality, Innovation and Commercialisation, said this fact sheet will help the Australian apple and pear industry maintain the high standards consumers have come to expect. 

“Our industry has worked hard to earn a reputation for clean, safe and healthy produce,” Andrew said. “This fact sheet will assist staff in quality compliance and management roles in packhouses to support a culture of risk awareness and mitigation.” 

The fact sheet articulates the vital role of food safety culture in maintaining an effective food safety management system, with practical guidance for measuring, evaluating and monitoring food safety culture and providing additional food safety culture resources. 

Andrew said this fact sheet emphasises the shared accountability of food safety culture throughout an organisation and within the wider supply chain: from those in leadership positions all the way through to packhouse visitors, in businesses both large and small. 

“Food safety culture involves everybody,” Andrew said. “It’s only by managing food safety culture across the organisation that you can ensure everyone is aligned in awareness and management strategy. The culture of a place makes a huge difference to the manner in which they control the risks. If you can manage the culture, it makes a material difference to the risk awareness and management in a packhouse.” 

APAL is a supporter of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre, and Elizabeth’s earlier work developing the food safety self-assessment tool. 

Elizabeth will present at the upcoming Fresh Produce Safety Conference on 18 August. 

How can I use the food safety self-assessment tool?

The tool has two components: the questionnaire, and the Excel spreadsheet.

To measure your food safety management system performance:

  1. Answer the questions in the self-assessment tool, choosing the situation that best describes your operation.
  2. Enter the scores from each question (1, 2, 3 or 4) into the corresponding question number on the Excel spreadsheet.
  3. As you do so, the radar diagram colours will fill.

For the context sections, more red infill translates to a riskier business context.

For subsequent sections, the greener the infill, the more control the business has over food safety.

QA and operations managers should use the tool as an internal audit to see the system strengths and weaknesses.

For further information about the fact sheet or self-assessment tool, contact

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