Is Food Safety A C-Position

May 20, 2012

2008, before Listeria, 22 deaths, massive recalls, Maple Leaf Foods executive team included public relations, six sigma and stockholder liaison but no quality or food safety expert.  I read once that change can only come through a significant emotional event.  Michael McCain. Maple Leaf’s CEO is on TV, tears streaming down his face.  2012, Dr. Randal Huffman has been Maple Leaf’s Chief Food Safety Officer for three years.

 Most food companies are like the 2008 Maple Leaf Foods, the responsibility for food safety rests with a manager that is a part of manufacturing.  They have to audit and report on their peers to a common boss.  If they are really into their job, generating long lists of non-compliances and required changes they are not a team player.  If they let everything slide and an issue result then they are shown the door.  Most just report enough to make like they are doing their job but never report something that can’t be quickly and cheaply repaired or corrected. 

Food Safety must have the ear and the support of the CEO.  They must be an equal to the head of manufacturing, of sales, of finance.  There must be a Chief Food Safety Officer.