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We often think that food is the basis for our industry. However, what it is actually fundamentally based on is trust.

When consumers are asked about their food purchasing habits, it should come as no surprise that trusting the safety of that food is one of the most important factors. Foodborne illnesses are memorable and can permanently alter how brands are perceived. All too often a large outbreak event or a single bad experience will create deep-seated fear and distrust. In today's information-abundant world, consumers are hyper-vigilant for any information related to their health and safety.

Taking food safety seriously is necessary for success. This starts with educating anyone involved in food handling and then placing an emphasis in fostering a culture of food safety that comes from the top down.

At IDDBA, we made food safety a focus of research and education campaigns beginning over 30 years ago. This is so important that we even offer member-companies a monetary reimbursement for getting involved in food safety certification through our Food Safety Certification Reimbursement Program.

Fostering food safety is about more than knowledge; it is about building habits and promoting visibility. A culture of food safety self-reinforces good practices and can help prevent problems before they might otherwise occur. Food safety signage or labels may be valuable educational tool anywhere along the supply chain, but when they are also customer facing, they are transformative in building consumer trust.

Trust doesn't just have to be about avoiding negative consequences. It should be about building awareness about the active work made to foster food safety and preserve the customer's well being.