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'Safefood requires training, commitment and fairness

Food safety is a gateway to the field of culinary arts. Everyone can gain common entry to the kitchen and training is the prerequisite ticket on the journey. Each individual food worker is responsible for the creation of a safe and hygienic working environment no matter what their role is or size and level of the business. In hygiene parameters we are all equal. Safe and wholesome food is a not a social privilege, it is a common right. Honesty, diligence, and integrity are primary constituents which need to cook in harmony with the whole team to make the recipe work properly. The maintenance of a dynamic food safety management system is fundamental to all culinary practices in all kitchens. There is no finish line, and we can all continue to improve our performance and do better.

In the context of the Food Safety Professionals Association (FSPA), it is a privilege to be able to provide information and accredited training to individuals which enables them to gain meaningful employment in the hospitality industry. Very often people come from far away and diverse backgrounds. In recent years learners have included early school leavers, migrants, mature students and even lapsed chefs looking for a change of career or new role. The more diverse and eclectic the learning environment is, the richer the experience is for learners and facilitator. Everyone is welcome to bring their experience to the fore though instruction is bound within the confines of the specific requirements and learning outcomes designated within each food safety level.

Trainers are continually upskilled and retrained as part of the FSPA ethos of total quality. Within the association there is a significant breath of shared experience and mutual support for members. The FSPA quality assured training manual is a tangible example of this knowledge base and member co-operation. It provides learners in class with an evidence-based reference document for instruction. The manual is a learning template covering all three levels designated by the FSAI and not purely for certified examination but as a working document of best industry practice. Enthusiasm for learning fluctuates for everyone depending on their free time, roles, and responsibilities. The manual is a reliable source of critical information on allergens, food safety and hygiene.

Continual improvement follows as our experience develops through training, hard work and career progression. Self -confidence grows when we feel we are in control of our own destiny. Self-efficacy is the most important skill a new learner can possess because no matter how talented one is, things will always go wrong. We as educators need to be able to create a space where learners can take a step back and think about how they can improve next time without focussing too much on the negative to build positive learning experiences. Learning is a process of trying. Building student self -confidence is the most significant determinant of their ability to learn.

Giving people greater control over their learning can decrease stress and anxiety. Positive reinforcement encourages the practice of excellence. The best working environments provide continual upskilling and coaching because the stimulating activities are rewarding for the both the employees and the business.

A stimulating workplace where diversity is respected nourishes employee growth, development, and retention. Increased motivation increases learning power. Honesty and fairness stimulate workers appetite for continual improvement. The best food businesses have pride in the products they create and manage to generate a distinct working atmosphere which is discernible to customers. Safe food practice and a positive working atmosphere enhance customer experience towards success in a total quality management system.

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