When football and food safety collide

I love it when two of my favorite things, football and food safety, intersect.  Last year it was pigeon poop in stadiums.  This year it’s about changing culture.   USA Today published a profile of 4 new NFL head coaches and one spoke specifically about changing the losing culture of a team.

Mike Smith of the Atlanta Falcons said:  "When you change the culture, you have to change people’s behaviors. And when you change behaviors, you change their habits."

I think this philosophy should be the same in fields, packing sheds, processing facilities, retail stores and kitchens:  Leadership that values food safety should have a goal of changing the culture of an organization, resulting in behavior and habit changes on on the front-lines.  And the organization doesn’t have to be complicated or large, it could be an independent restaurant with 4 staff members or a church dinner committee with 20 volunteers.

Places I want to eat at or buy food from should be able to say that handling and producing food safely is what we do.  Just like Smith wants his team to have a shared belief that winning is what they do.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.