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GLOBAL FOOD SAFETY CONFERENCE 2014

AIB: Food companies require a strong safety culture

By Jenni Spinner+

03-Mar-2014

Proper safety training and assessment can work toward bringing food personnel up to speed on strong safety protocols.
Proper safety training and assessment can work toward bringing food personnel up to speed on strong safety protocols.

A representative of AIB International says that building a strong safety program requires a cultural connection among food operation personnel.

Andre Biane, president and CEO of food safety and training outfit AIB International, told FoodProductionDaily across the globe, any effective food safety program is built on the foundation of an effective production system.

"The baseline of a strong food safety program is good manufacturing practices," Biane said. "That is universal."

Culture shock

However, Biane said, food production firms can run into challenges getting food plant personnel on board when it comes to implementing a safety program.

For example, international food firms expanding into different countries and regions can encounter implementing safety protocols. Many of these obstacles come from trying to impose an existing food safety template in a culture that has different a attitude and understanding around the very meaning of "food safety."

"We're finding international companies stretching into developing markets encounter cultures that don't see the need for that kind of protocol," he said.

Making the connection

Bridging the gap between the lack of common ground regarding proper food safety practices, and the level of diligence required for an international food operation, requires thorough training and effective communication. Companies such as AIB International can provide food safety managers with the training programs, consulting services, assessment tools, certification, and other resources to bring any operation up to speed.

AIB International started out nearly 100 years ago as a resource for baking companies. In the decades since, the organization has branched out to handle other food-related industries, servicing Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Europe, in addition to US clients.

Biane spoke to FPD at the Global Food Safety Conference (GFSC) in Anaheim, California. GFSC is an annual program dedicated to food safety and security, produced by the Global Food Safety Initiative and the Consumer Goods Forum.

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