CEO draws link between food safety, worker treatment

There’s a strong link between food safety and how a company’s employees are treated, according to the CEO of a major baked goods company. who play a critical role in handling food products often aren’t paid much or given opportunities for advancement, said Paula Marshall, CEO of the Bama Companies.

“There’s a problem, in my mind, with that model,” said Marshall, who delivered a keynote address this week at the Northwest Food Processors Association’s annual conference in Portland.

Farmers and food manufacturers face a threat from employees who simply don’t care about the final product or even hold a grudge against the company, she said.

To get workers committed to food safety, companies must show them respect — not only with better pay, but with opportunities for training and education that allow them to rise in the corporation, Marshall said.