BRCGS Global Standard Issue 9

How do values and behaviours improve food safety culture?

Values are the overarching principles that dictate our behaviour. Behaviours are the way we act or conduct ourselves towards others based on our values. When it comes to the workplace, values and behaviour have a huge impact on how we undertake our work activities, contribute to food safety and interact with colleagues.


Companies will normally have developed a range of values. For example:

  • Positive work ethic
  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Food Safety Culture
  • Team work


If we can take the value of Food Safety Culture and look at the type of behaviours that would support a positive food safety culture within the workplace.

  • Maintain high levels of personnel hygiene
  • Maintain a clean safe working environment
  • Undertake work activities as details by company policy, procedures and specifications


Once you have defined your values and behaviours you then need to have in place systems for communicating, measuring reviewing and rewarding values and behaviours. For example:


  • Communicating 

Making staff aware of what is expected of them to transfer company values and behaviours into working practices and communicating with colleagues on a daily basis. Examples of communication could be through awareness training, posters on notice boards, toolbox talks, discussing food safety issues at production and operational meetings; manager and supervisors reinforcing positive behaviours daily feedback from internal and external audits to all staff etc.


  • Measuring

Putting systems in place to measure staff behaviours covering: reviewing Internal audit nonconformities to identify any trends directly relating to food safety culture, reviewing hand swabbing results and relevant KPI’s etc. 


  • Reviewing

Undertaking reviews to discuss how well staff are delivering on behavioural  expectations which could include reviewing behaviours as part of a staff appraisal system.


  • Rewarding

Putting in place systems for rewarding staff who demonstrate a positive attitude towards company values and behaviours which could be as simple as managers and supervisors thanking staff on a daily basis for the actions they carry out all the way to an employee recognition scheme where employees or departments get nominated for an award.


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