Designing Effective Food Safety Management System

The Challenges for Managing Food Safety Management System:

This is what most food facilities will agree on -we have challenges and need to take time to focus on our audit? How many times have you heard of these phrases? Does it seem like evergreen phrases in the food industry? Why is it?

  • Is it because we aren’t putting enough effort to work throughout the year? or
  • Too many tasks on-hand
  • Too many fires to put off
  • Felt like being pulled into different directions

At a certain point, I am sure that most of us have experienced this. BUT this shouldn’t be the situation. Today, we will be sharing how you can design (and redesign) an effective food safety management system.

Who wants an effective food safety management system?

We all do right? That’s the bread and butter of our work. Here are our five tips for designing (and redesigning effective food safety management systems:

  1. Hire someone great at managing and implementing the food safety management system.
  2. Management onboarding and support
  3. Know what works and what doesn’t, at your facility!
  4. Know what is required, what is optional and what is redundant, in your processes
  5. Can you put a system inside your food safety management systems, to improve the effectiveness of the food safety management system?
Are you in, for more details to build and redesign an effective food safety management system that works for you? Read on

Tips #1: Hire someone great at managing and implementing the food safety management system.

At SFPM Consulting, we don’t go by resume; we go by evidence when hiring our food safety team member because we have seen multiple cases where resumes and experiences don’t match with the effectiveness of running a food safety management system.

When hiring for a food safety team leader, always ensure they know how to run a food safety management system on auto-pilot and maintain the program together.

Training doesn’t equal competency. Most food graduates and industry professionals have a HACCP certificate but that doesn’t guarantee that the personnel can write a proper food safety plan, more so maintaining them.

Your food safety team leader should know the concept and what is needed in each element of the pre-requisite programs and HACCP program.

Our solution:

Food safety training platform to strengthen concept understanding with an action plan for each training topic so our client knows what to do after their training. We are turning training into competency.

The training platform comes with a drop-in monthly training, to allow for a progress check and live Q &A session.


Management onboarding and support

Who here doesn’t know about the concept of food safety culture? If you don’t already know, we explained food safety culture in one of our previous blogs –check it out here.

We believe in building culture because culture is essentially is the fundamental of a business on its own. Ever wonder why if top management asks for something, it gets prioritized? They decide your bonus!

Extend the same situation for your food safety program. Does it make sense that management onboarding and support actually will work?

Building a food safety culture isn’t a one-time thing, where the top management needs to support the food safety team. It is a long-term multi-player collaboration project. Let me explain what I meant by this term. Any organizational culture (same goes with food safety culture) built over time, layers after layers).

To build a food safety culture, Senior Site Management must pay attention to their food safety management system, how effective they are and help build a system that works. The Senior Site Management can do that by providing leadership and instruction to the food safety team, for execution. When Senior Site Management continuously leads by example, they show to the team, it is important.

Food Safety Culture is not the job of the QA Department, Senior Management or the QA Manager. It is everyone’s responsibility.

How do you get everyone on the same page when it comes to food safety culture?

Build a workshop to set a food safety culture -what’s acceptable and what’s not?

Our solution:

SFPM focus our food safety culture workshop on team building + organizational/food safety culture training, to help the food safety team, managers and supervisors to learn the expectation of the senior management.

Our workshop is specially designed to build a food safety culture, that is unique to each workshop that we run, so it is uniquely yours, to keep.

Know what works and what doesn’t, at your facility!

Quarterly, we run a SWOT analysis on our client’s food facility to understand what is working and what needs more work. The reason is simple. You can’t fix what you don’t know!

Here is the exact formula that you can follow

  1. List all pre-requisite programs and additional GFSI requirements (management components)
  2. Review deviation report and completion timeline for all the items on the list
  3. Plot the graph for the food safety elements vs # non-conformance documented.
  4. Overlay another graph for the food safety elements vs #repeated non-conformance
  5. You should be able to see a visual illustration of the effectiveness of your food safety system.

Additionally, you also know what programs you have to be fire-fighting for (what doesn’t work?) and what programs that you need less effort (what works?)

Happy trying! PM us the result too -we loved to know if this works for you!

If you aren’t able to conduct a SWOT Analysis on your food safety management system, you can also use an internal audit and the help of your team to run a SWOT Analysis. Here,

  • your strength would be the food safety programs that are in compliance
  • your weakness would be the elements that are out of compliance
  • your opportunities would be something that is in compliance but your internal auditor found a few improvements needed such as updating the forms, something minor
  • your threats would be the elements that have multiple deviations under the same pre-requisite programs or management systems
Our solution:

If you don’t have the expertise to conduct an internal auditor doesn’t have time to manage an internal audit, consider hiring an external consultant to conduct an internal audit on your behalf.

We are offering 2 spots for food bakeries to experience our COMPLIMENTARY gap assessment services, that you can use as part of your internal audit. One session in Dec 2021 and another in Jan 2022. Terms and conditions apply -please contact us for this opportunity.

Know what is required, what is optional and what is redundant, in your processes

They say you need to understand the code and understand the process. Both are true in this case. All food safety management system goes by code and there is a reason for that. It is to guide and ensure that the objectives of the code are properly achieved. That’s the fundamental of a food safety audit -to check compliance against the food safety code. Applies to all the code, regardless if you are on SQF Edition 9, BRC, FSSC 22000, ISO 22000 or HACCP program.

The key is doing what is necessary and important, that both comply with the requirements of your process + the code requirements.

You must know what is required for the code and your process before you can start to change or eliminate certain processes. Sometimes, we see a supervisor decide without asking the stakeholder (the employees) their thought, not realizing that the plan may not work. Our biggest tip here is to ask the person that will be most impacted by the changes.

Our solution:

At SFPM Consulting, we build strategy and plan to help you through project management concepts from conceptualization, to the realization of the strategy. It is an approach that we run for companies that have a stable and effective food safety management system.


Can you put a system inside your food safety management systems, to improve the effectiveness of the food safety management system?

We often heard of insufficient time to manage and build effective food safety management systems. There is also a lack of accountability, to drive the food safety management system forward. The presence of digitalization will takeaways these problems easily.

It’s like setting a vacation no-reply email on your email system. Once you set them up, the systems are there. The use case of digitalization is unlimited. Here are a few use cases and advantages:

  • Automate supplier program and questionnaire request -a huge time and effort saving
  • Automated tasks assignment for cleaning tasks, QA tasks, site inspection etc -let the program run according to your frequency
  • Online and on-demand record -no need to wonder if things are done or find a piece of record from the buried stacks of paper
  • Tracking of deviations and tasks completion – Get rid of the dependency for “To-do List”

Wish I had this when I started 9 years ago.

Our solution:

We have partnered with our software provider, GFSC Group to provide affordable food safety software and help build operational effectiveness within food safety management. Many food safety software payment structures is based on the amount of user and it highly restricts the task assignments. With GFSC Food Safety Software, there is no user limitation so we can assign the task to who it needs to be assigned. With the automated tracking of tasks completion, there is no excuse for the team, not to pull in their weights.

It is like building a system, within a system, without the work.

Connect with us here, to book a quick demo, to see how we can help you build a system within a system, for the sake of building and redesigning an effective food safety management system. We got a special discount code, to get you started today!

Take Advantage of our Strategy Call

Our Strategy Call is for you! We want to help guide you in the right direction for your food safety program needs. Book a complimentary call here.

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