Tackling the Challenges of Food Safety With Online Food Safety Training
29th January 2018
Campden BRI recently conducted a survey* which found that nearly three-quarters of food and drink firms are aiming to enhance food safety in their business. Food and Drink manufacturers were questioned about the needs, effectiveness and challenges of food safety in the industry. Over 1400 responses were collated from 20 food industry sectors; of those manufacturers surveyed, 74% said they had a clear idea for how to improve food safety, meanwhile 55% said that their company was a leader in food safety. Further to that, 83% stated that they were able to implement the food safety training needed to create a culture of food safety.
Through the responses collected from food and drink manufacturers Campden BRI were able to identify the top three challenges that the food and drink industry faces when trying to issue food safety training to their workforce. Below we’ll detail each challenge and how Sponge can provide effective online training solutions to the problems facing food safety and food safety training.
Making Time for Training
Upon conducting their survey Campden BRI found that food and drink manufacturers were really struggling to find the time for food safety training. Having to allocate a trainer for days at a time to train up large training groups is proving to be very time consuming and resource draining. When you add in the problem of ensuring that everyone is available for the food safety training at the same time, you can understand how time can play a factor in terms of ensuring that the appropriate training is given to the appropriate people.
At Sponge, we understood that making time for training was a challenge not only facing the food and drink sector, but that it was an issue widespread across many industries. That’s why our LMS, as well as our eLearning modules were created with this in mind. With our LMS you don’t have to worry about making time for training as online training modules are available 24/7 and accessible anywhere. So rather than taking up a whole week of a trainer’s time, trainees can complete their online training on their own, in their own time or in an allocated time during working hours. Furthermore, our eLearning modules were built with Micro-learning, this is the practice of presenting information and training in bite sized chunks. This allows the trainee to much more easily retain information: by allowing the trainee to break up the information that they are receiving into smaller chunks, they’ll be able to process each chunk much better than if they were to have been delivered it all at once.
Making Sure the Training is Effective
Another issue that was found amongst food and drink producers from the survey was that they had no way of ensuring that the food safety training was effective. Were their trainees taking the information in correctly? Were they understanding the importance of food safety thoroughly? And would they be able to use the training to protect the company against any lapses in food safety? The answer to these questions at the moment from the majority of these companies is a no.
When we design online training, the effectiveness of it is at the forefront of everything we do. Our learning experts are well versed in the most modern methodologies when it comes to learning and information retention. With interactive eLearning modules that encourage active learning rather than passive learning we can significantly improve the chances that information is being absorbed correctly. By incorporating role plays, videos and quizzes we can also drive home the importance of food safety; not only by emphasising how important it is but actually getting trainees to think about and engage with the importance of food safety. Furthermore, with adaptive learning techniques you can stop training in broad strokes and really start to personalise online training for individuals rather than a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Lastly, our online food safety training allows companies to have a tangible and solid piece of evidence that they can point too if any lapses in food safety were to occur. Our LMS provides you with a system that will allow you to track who has completed what online training, how each person handled the online training and how compliant the organisation is as a whole.
Another issue that was found to have become prevalent in the industry was the lack of refresher training on offer in most organisations. Once a person had completed their food safety training, the likelihood of them ever receiving it again was low. When you have employees that have been with the organisation for a long time this becomes a problem. The memory starts to lapse and food safety moves away from being a set of guidelines which govern how employees operate on operational floors to becoming a person’s individual understanding based on memory. Over time, an individual’s understanding can become warped from the truth; the result can be bad practices that go unnoticed which over time eventually become part of the culture.
This recession of information amongst more senior or long-term employees is something which troubles us at Sponge. For us, training and learning are not a one off – it is a continual process. As a result, our LMS can issue refresher training to individuals after a certain period of time. The length of which can be set for as short or as long as you need it. Our compliance management system allows you to set renewal dates for specific areas of training that will automatically issue training without anyone having to do it manually. It works quite simply; when you initially issue food safety training online, you can set up a date for trainees to retake the food safety training online. Once that date comes around our LMS will send an email or text to your trainee informing them that they have an eLearning module to complete. The email or text will contain a link that they can use to access the online food safety training and once it’s complete you can be safe in the knowledge that your trainee has refreshed their understanding of food safety. Once again, over time this can really help to build a culture that isn’t based on an individual’s understanding of training they took months or even years ago but a culture based on modern practices in food safety. You can set training to renew automatically for whenever you like whether that be every 6 months or once a year, our LMS takes the stress of refresher training out of your hands.
Our eLearning solutions have already helped other Food and Drink producers and we’re certain that it can help many, many more. If you or your organisation is interested in finding out how Sponge can help with Food Safety training online then get in contact today and ask about our Food Safety base modules.