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Microlearning technology properly trains food workers on food safety compliance protocols. How?

You see it all the time in the news. Another food organization got unwanted attention because of food safety violations. These not only result in costs to consumer health but also in regulatory fines that damage reputation.

Organizations use food safety compliance training to stay away from these consequences. Current training programs are too traditional. They offer in-person or long LMS courses that aren’t engaging and don’t test for mastery. Oftentimes, it’s too late before organizations realize their training wasn’t effective – the violations have occurred.

So, how can organizations be sure that their food workers are ready to apply compliance training around proper food handling, food safety, and sanitation practices on the job? This is where microlearning technology comes in. Before I dive into microlearning technology, let me talk about food safety compliance training.

Organizations can claim that their food is safe for consumers because they follow strict rules (compliance protocols) when handling the food. This requires robust food safety training. Examples of compliance requirements include proper labeling, handling of raw materials, food contact surfaces, and infection control.

With the advent of COVID-19, food safety protocols and best practices have become bigger topics. There are now stricter procedures for employee health and personal hygiene. Management operations for restaurants, retail food stores, and pickup/delivery have new rules for cleaning, cooking, labeling, chilling, customer contact, handling, heating procedures, and more.

Most organizations have their own compliance programs. However, these programs are based on rules created by government agencies such as the FDA and USDA. These agencies frequently send inspection officers. Usually, inspection officers both “quiz” food workers and walk around to evaluate the facilities. To avoid fines and inspection failures, food workers need to quickly recall important information they learned months ago and continually demonstrate proper safety practices when handling food. Therefore, constant training refreshers on regulations, procedures, and records management is very important.

Microlearning Technology for Food Safety Compliance Training

About 79% of what’s taught during compliance training from months ago can’t be recalled. Picture what this means for consumer safety. Also, food workers are oftentimes bored with the LMS course and so don’t truly learn the material. This of course has obvious and severe consequences for public health.

To solve these problems, training must not only be engaging but also be constantly reinforced and retained. So, let’s talk about how microlearning technology makes this happen.

Microlearning technology is proven to reinforce and promote long term retention of learning. It does so through a spaced-out, bite-sized, and interactive course. Before getting into specific food safety situations, food workers practice and learn from mistakes in a safe learning setting through scenario based assessments. This format encourages engagement.

The assessments are sent straight to a food worker’s email or mobile device so they can train without leaving kitchens, preparation areas, and customers. Moreover, the questions are only sent out every few days. As a result, they aren’t too overwhelmed with training demands on top of daily work tasks. This concept is called spaced education.

Each food worker receives personalized feedback to get an understanding of their proficiency around specific food safety topics. Every few days, the technology sends out short bursts of questions that the food worker needs more practice with (spaced repetition). This lets them reinforce and retain knowledge better. The short challenges avoid the boredom that comes with tedious SCORM courses.

When learners are given some downtime in between questions (spaced repetition and education), they learn information effectively. Such on the go training combats the forgetting curve explained above.

Now let’s jump into why these learning processes need to be data driven.

Managers and executives must be able to pinpoint knowledge gaps to coach and prevent risk that may happen in a food environment. Microlearning technology gathers food workers’ performance on assessments. It then gives managers and executives strong proficiency data at scale for performance support.

Proficiency analytics show that food workers either know the material or don’t. The data captured through these dashboards can be monitored at a high level or for a specific food safety topic. Managers and executives can break down learner data by individual teams, regions, departments, and more. Then they can easily identify knowledge gaps and coach food workers. Analytics provided by microlearning technology don’t only show that training was completed by food workers, but also show that they’ve built the knowledge needed for proper health and hygiene practices in food service.

Now managers and executives are confident that their food staff are ready to use compliance training knowledge on the job and protect consumer health.

Ready to see microlearning technology in action for your next food safety training program? Request a demo with Qstream here.

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