social Media: How to Use it to Your Advantage In A Food Related Industry

Susan Algeo

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This course will be broken down into three parts: Foodborne Illnesses, Response Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and Social Media. In this day and age, when customers have a good – or a bad – experience, they share it on social media. If they get food poisoning at your establishment, you can be sure that they’ll quickly post that information via Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

The rate at which that news can spread is getting faster all the time, which can be detrimental to food operations if they cause a foodborne illness incident or outbreak. While the use of social media is often used to promote a business, it can also destroy a company.

Warren Buffett said “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Now that complaints are happening in real time, companies have to work diligently to “control the conversation,” reducing (and responding to) negative comments on social media, as well as other venues.

This course will help companies use social media to improve their brand, promote their food safety protocols, and educate customers on food borne illnesses. Additionally, it’s important that every facility has a good understanding of food borne illness basics, including average onset times for most common illnesses. In this session, we will discuss common pathogens, including E.coli, Shigella, Salmonella tyhpi, Nontyphoidal salmonella, Listeria, Hepatitis A, and Norovirus.

Although prevention of any food borne illness and outbreak is the goal, food facilities must also have a plan to respond properly if a food borne incident occurs at their establishment. While employees need to be trained about how to properly prevent food borne illness incidents and outbreaks, they also need to be educated on how to respond if a food borne illness occurs.

Quick and proper response can limit the number of customers that get sick, and can also save a business and protect the company’s brand. We will review recent outbreaks and their impact on the facilities where they occurred. This course will help companies develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to help them plan their proper response to communicate internally and externally through social media. The session will also examine how social media is being used to help health departments track outbreaks and prevent future outbreaks from occurring.

Course Objective

  • How social media can impact their business – both positively and negatively – especially when foodborne illness is the issue. 
  • Information about different social media platforms, including 
  1. Twitter
  2. Facebook 
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Instagram
  5. Snapchat
  6. Yelp
  • How to create SOPs for both foodborne illness responses and social media policies.  
  • More information about common pathogens, including:
  1. Listeria
  2. Hepatitis A
  3. Norovirus
  4. Salmonella typhi
  5. Nontyphoidal salmonella
  6. E.coli
  7. Shigella

  • The difference between:
  1. Toxin-mediated infections
  2. Intoxications
  3. Infections

  • What their average customer knows and understands about food borne illness and how they use social media to share this information.  
  • More information about recent food borne illness outbreaks in the United States and what valuable lessons can be taken away from these past experiences.  
  • How to communicate and educate key audiences via social media to improve food safety and protect their brand.        

Course Outline

  • Introduction
  • Review of foodborne illnesses 
  • Consumers’ understandings of illnesses
  • Recent foodborne illness outbreaks
  • Types of social media
  • Impacts of social media
  • Response policies and SOPs
  • Preventative marketing 
  • Positive responses 
  • Regulatory use of social media
  • Questions

Target Audience

This 90-minute overview will be highly valuable for

  • Food safety professionals 
  • Marketing professionals
  • Team members
  • Quality assurance and regulatory affairs

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Training CD-DVD

Physical CD-DVD of recorded session will be despatched after 72 hrs on completion of payment

Recorded video

Recorded video session

Speaker: Susan Algeo,

Susan Algeo is the Director of Project Management at Food Safety Training Solutions, Inc., where she makes the learning process fun through interactive training and consulting. She has been working in the food safety industry for over 10 years. During that time, Susan has trained thousands of employees in the food industry and has successfully mentored many students to become trainers themselves. As a consultant, she has assisted operators and their teams to improve their standards, procedures, and overall commitment to food safety. Susan enjoys sharing her experiences and knowledge while giving presentations on many topics related to food safety, including food allergens, social media impact, and consumer views on inspections. She is the co-author of the SURE Food Safety series for employees, managers, and trainers. Susan has her Master of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh and an undergraduate degree from Penn State in Bio behavioral Health. She is a member of many industry organizations and associates and President of the New Jersey Association for Food Protection.

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