What is your company food safety culture?

Consumers trust in you to keep them safe. A mature company safety culture makes for safer food. With DNV’s toolbox, you can start an effective journey.

In DNV’s study last year, a third said the lack of a food safety culture posed a main threat to food safety. Operational risk is still the main concern, requiring a strong food safety management system, for example. With the cost of foodborne illness in the U.S. being more than $15.6 billion every year, more is needed. Globally, 600 million – almost 1 in 10 people globally - fall ill and an estimated 420,000 die, according to the WHO.

What is a food safety culture?

A culture is built from the food safety attitudes, values and beliefs shared by a group of people.  makes up its culture. The combination determines the commitment to and robustness of your organization’s food safety management. Your food safety culture reflects “how you work to make food safe around here!” The safety culture principles apply to any company operating with considerable risks. Drawing on extensive experience from other high-risk industries, our toolbox is tailored for food & beverage companies to help prevent outbreaks, recalls and other food safety issues.

How will my company and consumers benefit?

It is proven in other high-risk industries that a mature safety culture:

  • Reduces incident and accident levels
  • Helps reassure stakeholders and the workforce that health and safety is a priority
  • Improves employee awareness and involvement in safety
  • Increases confidence that existing safety initiatives are the correct areas to focus
  • Allows management to focus safety initiatives on the right locations/departments
  • Enables a better understanding (tracking) of whether safety initiatives have been successful
  • Supports a return on investment for safety initiatives and safety budgets. 

How does it fit with my food safety management system?

A food safety culture program compliments a strong food safety management system (FSMS). Targeting people’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors can help you get more out of your FSMS. A strong FSMS is fundamental, providing the necessary foundation to manage risks, have a structure approach and continually improve. A mature food safety culture can be the next logic step, focusing on the human element, to further strengthen your food safety efforts.

Where to start?

Food safety culture takes time and continuous effort and diligence to build. We propose a multi-faceted approach to assess, monitor and continually improve your journey:

  1. Self-assessment
  2. Self-assessment review
  3. Full assessment
  4. Moving up the maturity continuum
  5. Proactive engagement
  6. Re-assessment and continual improvement.

Take our self-assessment demo

  1. Take the online self-assessment survey. Scan the QR-code below to provide your honest answers on the 5 dimensions of the GFSI model: vision & mission, people, consistency, adaptability and risk perception.

    GFSI SelfAssessment QR code new

  2. All data is collected & analyzed by the DNV team. Ask a DNV representative at the stand to show you the analytics dashboard!
  3. To conclude the first stage in our toolbox, you get a maturity report for your company and selected sites, collating all data. Scan the QR-code below to see an example.
    QR code example report

What attributes does the DNV toolbox help be assess and address?

The food safety culture toolbox is divided into 7 main attributes. It can be tailored to any Food Safety Culture protocols, such as GFSI’s.

  • Leadership
  • Organizational knowledge and communication
  • Encouragement
  • Work environment and conditions
  • Operational discipline
  • Teamwork and mutual care
  • Risk perception and identification 

The DNV team working with you includes food safety and behavioral experts.  Our auditors bring extensive experience from a range of industries worldwide, using a suite of tools and techniques developed to address risks.

The final assessment analyses your maturity levels, expressed as a grade. Insight is shared on positive aspects as well as opportunities for improvement for each of the attributes. Giving an overall conclusion and understanding of each departments’ maturity, you can benchmark and more easily measure progression.

See our Food Safety Culture Program brochure

Scan the QR-code below.


More information


ViewPoint Food safety interactive results