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Food Safety: once again a cultural matter

Food Safety Culture

A customer returned a product to a food company (a manufacturer of fresh products) because it contains a metal object. This customer luckily noticed it in time and could prevent worse implications. But how did this object end up in a product whose production line includes metal detection? Could this be a matter of sabotage?

What now? It happened to one of our members.


The company starts an investigation. They can soon rule out the production process. Based on the product in question and its package and transport, the return containers become their prime suspect. Apparently, the internal dishwasher had already been broken for quite some time and only the extremely dirty containers were cleaned externally.

During a previous delivery someone must have left the foreign object in one of the containers, where it remained unnoticed and consequently got mixed up in this (fresh) product during the next shipment…

3 tips!


Cleaning agents have a reason of existence!

As a company, you use procedures and tools. If these tools no longer function properly, you must repair them. Moreover, improvisations should be limited as much as possible.

Test procedures2

Do not underestimate the human aspect!

If the functioning of a critical control point depends on human actions solely – which is to avoid ideally – it is a major challenge to keep people on their toes. Instruct, test and evaluate continuously.


Create and maintain a Food Safety Culture!

Believe us when we say that this is not self-evident. However, you will learn all about this at the Food Security Members' Meeting on 4 October.

Food Security helps its members by:

  • Giving advice in the event of curious complaints.

  • Organizing a Members’ Meeting about ‘Security & Food Safety’ on 4 October 2018. In order to discuss this theme from various angles, we would like to introduce experts such as Dr. Elien De Boeck, who dedicated her PhD to this subject. Moreover, we would like to offer an interactive and instructive session by using real cases of fellow food companies.