The FSANZ information is reproduced with permission of Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Original information can be found here.
What is Food Safety Culture?
Food safety culture in a business is how everyone (owners, managers, employees) thinks and acts in their daily job to make sure that the food they make or serve is safe. It’s about having pride in producing safe food every time, recognising that a good quality product must be safe to eat. Food safety is your top priority.
A strong food safety culture comes from people understanding the importance of making safe food and committing to doing whatever it takes, every time. It starts at the top but needs everyone’s support across the business.
Why is it Important?
A good food safety culture can protect:
- Consumers from foodborne illness
- Your brand’s reputation
- Your business from financial loss
- 1 million cases of foodborne illness (each year) with contaminated food causing about 30,800 hospitalisations and 76 deaths 
- 70 food recalls a year, mostly due to contamination by disease-causing microorganisms, or allergens that were not declared on the label
Unsafe food can be linked to poor hygiene practices or mistakes by people handling food. This can occur, even when people are trained and businesses are inspected and audited.
Food businesses need to focus on people as well as processes: especially what the people who handle our food know and what they do in their everyday work in their workplaces.
Where Do I Start?
FSANZ has developed some easy-to-use tools and resources to help businesses and regulators work together to improve food safety culture, through a 3-step process:
- Follow through
These resources are designed to help food businesses shape and improve their food safety culture:
- Step 1: Know – Food safety questionnaire (PDF 218 kb)
This short questionnaire will help you do a quick ‘health check’ of your business’s food safety culture
- Step 2: Do – Checklists for change (PDF 239 kb)
These checklists take you through the key steps in developing a good food safety culture in your food business
- Step 3: Follow through (draft only) (PDF 965 kb)| (word 95 kb)
This is a draft document including a ‘culture maturity matrix’ to help you self-assess your business’s food safety culture, identify strengths and weaknesses and track progress overtime
- Poster: What does a strong food safety culture look like? (PDF 85 kb)
- Food Safety Culture Connections– our newsletter on food safety culture
- Visit our Food Safety Hub
Kirk M, Ford L, Glass K, Hall G. Foodborne illness, Australia, circa 2000 and circa 2010. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2011.131315