As National Food Safety Education Month continues, we went back to the “Clean Talk” podcast archives for a discussion on how the food safety industry was impacted by one of its most difficult challenges: the COVID-19 pandemic.
PSSI’s Jake Watts, SVP of Field Operations & Food Safety and Chief Legal Officer Jimmy Alaniz were joined by a group of attendees from Wayne Farms, including individuals representing Safety and Quality Assurance.
The conversation touched on a variety of issues, including who are the “true heroes” of the industry and how people are now more aware of food safety. We’ve compiled a few highlights below:
Frontline Workers Deserve Our Thanks
- Our frontline workers are the true heroes; PSSI and others in the food safety industry were able to keep daily operations running because of their dedication and commitment.
Industry Response—Collaboration, Communication, and Adaption
- We work in an industry that feeds the world and that places an extra level of responsibility and commitment on our team members.
- The industry had to adapt quickly to the situation as we can’t afford not to provide food.
- Industry players came together swiftly to collaborate, holding weekly meetings with each other and with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- The first and foremost goal was to protect the workforce.
- Communications with frontline workers was essential—making sure they were aware of the latest developments and the steps we were taking to ensure their safety, including temperature checks and social distancing.
Food Safety Perspective Changed
- People became far more aware of the importance of food safety.
- Team members were trained on food safety best practices while at PSSI facilities as well as how to take those best practices home to help protect their families.
While we move forward from the pandemic, our appreciation for the dedication and commitment shown by our PSSI team members during that challenging time—and today—remains front and center.