Surveys still suck; useless at measuring culture
Posted: August 1st, 2012 - 5:28am by Doug Powell
Food safety culture is all the rage. I was gassing on about it in 2007 in Calgary based on funding proposals me and Amy wrote in 2006, Chris had started down that path much earlier, and Frank wrote book about it in 2008.
Now, it’s everywhere, and seems to have already jumped the shark.
A self-reported survey does not measure culture; it measures what people think they’re supposed to say. Observation, direct or indirect, is much more powerful.
Neal et al invoke the food safety culture brand in the latest issue of Food Protection Trends, which I glanced at while luffaing in my Kansas hot tub (which seemed ridiculous since it was 105F or 40.5C outside).
The authors say, “One of the most important procedures that retail food establishments
(RFEs) can implement to decrease the chance of foodborne illness is training employees on proper food handling practices.”
There’s no evidence that works.
So in a study allegedly designed to “assess food safety practices contributing to food safety culture in food service operations,” the authors conclude the “two most important factors for developing a food safety culture in food service operations are management commitment and worker food safety behavior."
Jumped the shark.