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We live in a world of fast-flowing and abundant information. While one can say that the business of our industry is food, one could also say that it is an industry of 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. Fear and distrust can be the result, whether from a large outbreak or a single customer's experience.

Taking food safety seriously is necessary for success. This starts with educating anyone involved in food handling, but we encourage that there must also be an emphasis in creating a culture of food safety that comes from the top down. IDDBA has made this problem a focus of research and education campaigns beginning over 30 years ago; one recent example is the "Safe Food Matters! Focus on Listeria" initiative.

Food safety shouldn't just be about knowledge, it should be about habit and visibility. A culture of food safety self-reinforces good practices, and can help prevent a problem before it happens. Food safety signage or labeling anywhere along the supply chain is a valuable internal educational tool in its own right, but it can also be used to build consumer trust if it is customer facing.

Trust doesn't just have to be about avoiding negative consequences; it can also be about building awareness about the active work made to preserve the customer's safety.