Food Safety Week At OSI
October 10, 2019
Food Safety Week was celebrated globally during September 2019. OSI’s manufacturing facilities and corporate offices around the world hosted fun and innovative activities to create food safety awareness, to strengthen food safety culture and to demonstrate commitment to food safety and quality. This is OSI’s second annual Food Safety Week. Each year, a common theme is celebrated and each location creates their own activities based on the theme.
For Food Safety Week in 2018, OSI focused our conversations around how we keep our families safe when we prepare nutritious meals at home. We wash our hands, clean our cookware and dishes, keep raw and ready-to-eat foods separated in the refrigerator, keep our perishable foods cold and use a food thermometer when cooking meats to know when they are done. Focusing on these topics helped demonstrate that we do the same things in our manufacturing sites as each of us do at home but on a bigger scale. This perspective resonated well with our employees and they appreciated the time that was afforded to them to learn and better understand food safety topics.
This year’s activities focused on three specific topics: allergens, foreign material prevention and microorganisms, which are hazards that each plant diligently seeks to control within their operations. Each location hosted a Food Safety Fair and conducted celebration activities to build awareness and ensure everyone, from the shop floor to the corporate offices, felt that they had a role in making safe food for their families, for themselves and for our customers.
“Achieving food safety success in today’s changing environment requires going beyond traditional training, testing and inspectional approaches,” said Arnold Hsu, Vice President, Quality Assurance, OSI Asia Pacific. “It requires a better understanding of food safety throughout the entire organization.”
SNAPSHOTS OF CELEBRATING FOOD SAFETY AROUND THE GLOBE IN 2019
Each location put its own fingerprints on this year’s food safety week. Some played games, made posters, took pictures, held raffles and competed in quizzes. Here are some highlights from around the globe.
‘Hand Wash Master’ education activity: Orange Bay Foods’ (OBF) Corporate Social Responsibility Team in Japan provided hand washing lessons to Yawatahama elementary school to promote food safety concepts. OBF President Tatshiro “Teddy” Yokose issued Hand Wash Master cards to certify the students with good hand washing results at the end of the lessons. This was a clear example of expanding food safety culture to local community and materializing company social responsibility.
‘Food safety is what we do’: A food safety banner titled “Food safety is what we do” was signed by employees across each facility in North America. This banner was hung at the beginning of the week in key areas of the plants as both a decoration for the week’s activities and practical reminder of shared food safety responsibility.
‘Catch Being Good’ initiative: OSI Europe launched an initiative that creates an atmosphere of rewarding positive food safety behaviors. For example, when team members wash their hands and lather for more than 10 seconds, their colleague would say, “Thank you for washing your hands and preventing contamination to our food products we make here.” Encouraging verbal recognition in front of peers has been a powerful motivator.
Food safety activity day: After a week of training to build a food safety culture alongside colleagues and customers, the Asia Pacific Zone dedicated one weekend day to invite their families to celebrate food safety achievements and share food safety tips to be applied at home.
Food safety games: From the corporate office to our production and R&D facilities, OSI North America’s employees reimagined familiar board games to learn important impacts of food safety. Some of these games included:
○ Wheel of Misfortune, which highlighted the relationship of organisms and product recalls;
○ The Game of Life Allergen Edition, which tested knowledge of food allergens; and
○ Operation - Foreign Material, a scavenger hunt with guessing boxes which provided an engaging way to identify the different types of foreign object that cause incidents at OSI’s plants and methods that are used to control them.
Food safety influencers: OSI Europe focused on finding ambassadors on the shop floor who have strong personalities and influence others in their work area. The ambassadors help spread the message about food safety, lead by example and can ensure that others they influence take the proper actions as well.
“Our OSI team, from those at processing plants to our corporate offices, were happy that we’d set aside a week to talk about food safety in a way that was fun. We heard from many that they learned some new facts that they can use in their everyday lives and others said they gained an appreciation of the steps OSI takes to protect its customers,” said Joe Holt, Vice President of Food Safety and Quality at OSI North America.
FOOD SAFETY AND QUALITY GO HAND IN HAND AT OSI
Trust in our food is of utmost importance to us and ensuring food safety is non-negotiable. We take providing consumers, many of whom are our families and friends, with safe, nourishing, and delightful food as a privilege and honor. While expanding internationally, OSI has worked with many local suppliers to deliver quality, consistency and efficiency to help our partners achieve growth and profitability. We are proud of maintaining the high standards our customers have come to expect across each location and facility.
“The quality of our products and the people who work with us will always come first. That’s why we’re considered number one by the best leaders in the business,” said OSI Group Chairman and CEO Sheldon Lavin. “Every day is a new day to prove it.”
As a partner, OSI provides connections to the best practices in food manufacturing operations. We introduce our suppliers to better technology, food safety and management practices as well as provide connections to experts and practical experience in the most advanced farming and processing facilities around the globe. We also set high expectations for our suppliers and insist on the application of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) based preventive approaches to food safety in all supplying facilities to manage risk around food safety.
OSI’S GLOBAL FOOD SAFETY AND QUALITY COUNCIL
The OSI Group drives food safety excellence throughout our network via our Global Food Safety and Quality Council. This council ensures global alignment of our food safety and quality expectations and has made significant strides to develop and implement OSI’s food safety culture in a way that can be easily understood, embraced and adhered to by every employee. We also ensure it can be externally verified, so we can constantly evaluate and improve upon our practices where possible.
We undergo regular internal and customer safety audits and globally track a strategic list of food safety key performance indicators (KPIs) for each plant, which are routinely reviewed by OSI’s leadership. We recognize the importance of continuing to embed and enrich our food safety culture within the core of OSI operations. All of OSI’s facilities actively maintain Global Food Safety Initiative Certification or other globally recognized certifications for their food safety and quality systems.
THE POWER OF MAKING CONNECTIONS OVER FOOD
As food providers, we appreciate the power of eating together and celebrate the connections that can be made over food. These connections and relationships are grounded in integrity and trust and help us continue to be the provider of world class food safety and quality solutions for the leading brands we serve.
While Food Safety Week is a fun time at OSI, its purpose, impact and results are not something we take for granted. This kind of initiative is one piece of our thoughtful strategy for implementing best-in-class food safety and quality systems. As our mission remains strong each year, we look forward to continuing the tradition of Food Safety Week at OSI in 2020.