Mitigating the Human Risk
Last year there were 32 FSA food recalls issued due to microbial contamination. That may not seem a huge figure but, worryingly, it was a percentage increase of over 25% year-on-year. Any food poisoning outbreak linked to a particular food processing facility impacts brand equity in an industry in which trust is key. However, an enforced shutdown while the source of the outbreak is being investigated could have a devastating impact on businesses already left reeling by Covid.
Each amber Action in a BRC audit has a significant cost attached. The greater the instances of nonconforming alerts, the higher the frequency of followup audits – and thus further operational disruption. Addressing each corrective or preventative action takes time out to address the issue and the time required to accompany the auditor for each subsequent visit quickly add-up to a considerable, but hidden, cost.
Peace of mind means embedding hygienic best practice throughout the business as we humans are typically the greatest risk factor. The answer lies in using intelligent, intuitive design to make hygienic behaviours easier to follow than to ignore; for instance, factor out touch points wherever possible by using infrared options and make it simple for staff to keep their work stations clean by deploying strategically placed HACCP risk managed bins.
In a similar way, help hygiene teams manage microbial risk by making cleaning as quick and efficient as possible. Choose food grade furniture that is proven to be easy to clean – unnecessary gaps, ledges, folds etc. are designed out. The more fiddly it is to clean, the longer it will take and thus the greater the Total Cost of Ownership over the course of the item’s lifetime. As such, the mantra at the procurement stage should be: if it looks easy to clean, it is easy to clean.