OSI Celebrates Another Successful Global Food Safety Week
September 25, 2020
OSI facilities and offices around the world are marking the close of the company's third annual Global Food Safety Week. Like previous iterations, the week offered employees across the company time to pause amid the bustle of daily activities to reflect on the roles they each play in ensuring the food OSI produces meets the highest safety and quality standards.
The yearly event is a key part of the company's broader effort to nurture a strong food safety culture. It also ensures that every crucial person working behind the scenes to transform raw materials into products that consumers enjoy are aware of the latest food safety standards and best practices pertaining to everything from equipment sanitation to personal hygiene.
"Just as global best practices in food safety continually improve, so must our global food safety culture," said OSI President and COO Dave McDonald. "This is critical to our continuing success and the success of our customers."
This year, each OSI region — North America, Asia Pacific and Europe — developed its own activities tied to a food safety theme.
While some in-person activities were swapped for virtual alternatives on account of current safety requirements, Food Safety Week was successfully held and modified to include timely topics, like the proper wearing and handling of face masks.
VIDEOS, WEBINARS, CONTESTS AND THANK-YOUS
In Europe and North America, facilities and offices organized activities around the theme "Food Safety Begins With Me."
Corporate headquarters offered staff access to a range of video tutorials reviewing food safety topics relevant both on and off the job. Topics included: proper hand washing, food safety for moms-to-be, and food safety and shopping. Senior management also discussed the importance of a food safety culture and invited employees to sign a food safety banner adorning corporate headquarters.
Several offices included games and encouraged family participation throughout the week, such as a spin-the-wheel game to identify allergens in Edmonton (Canada), a food safety slogan contest in West Chicago, and a food safety coloring/poster contest for kids and families in Wisconsin. In Oakland, Iowa, as in other locations, special attention was paid to showing appreciation to OSI employees for their great work and success in producing safe and quality food — from the receiving department for identifying sensitive ingredients, to HACCP monitors for performing X-ray and temperature checks, and all employees for proper hand washing and wearing of PPE.
In Germany, meanwhile, OSI offices invited staff to make the rounds through colorful stations where they could engage in interactive tutorials on everything from mask wearing to safely storing food products. And in England, each day of the week had its own slogan — such as “Chance Takers Are Accident Makers” and “Safe Food Saves Lives” — with a daily lesson and accompanying activity. For example, a demonstration on factory equipment hygiene gave staff a chance to practice swab-testing surfaces, and a lesson on bacteria included taking fingerprints to see how much bacteria is normally on our hands.
In the Asia-Pacific region, activities were tied to the theme "Building Food Safety Culture Is In Everything We Do." Leaders similarly sent messages about the importance of food safety to all employees at OSI plants, and organized activities focused on Good Manufacturing Practices. Activities included webinar-based training, workshops and sessions dedicated to the sharing of best practices around the prevention of food safety problems. Employees were separately invited to offer anonymous suggestions to plant managers about improving food safety and quality practices and some were honored with "food safety guardian star" awards. Winners had their photos posted at the plant as an inspiration to their colleagues.
The activities held this month across the company were part of a broader approach to food safety at OSI that is paramount to our identity.
SETTING AN INDUSTRY EXAMPLE
OSI’s approach is to start with leadership and management declaring that food safety is a priority
for the organization and the basis for everything we do. From there, the company's approach to food safety is driven by the Global Food Safety Council composed of leaders from across the organization, who set policies and standards and stay ahead of emerging trends.
In recent years, the Council has sought to further align food safety standards across the company through events like Food Safety Week and an extensive survey that investigated the strength of food safety culture across the organization. The results have been guiding improvements at every OSI facility and informing the focus of Food Safety Week themes and activities.
At the same time, OSI has also been working to extend food safety influence to suppliers. In 2019, for example, OSI held a food safety summit in Germany where protein suppliers could meet with OSI customers and learn about new technology and best practices from a range of food safety experts.
As leaders at OSI work to establish the company as a food safety leader and convener, they understand that it must lead by example, from corporate headquarters to the factory floor.
"Every day is a new day to prove that we are customer focused and that we are doing all that we can to prevent food safety risks," McDonald said. "This is paramount and reflects who we are as a company because it reflects on our food safety culture."