Introducing a Free Webinar on Predictable Food Safety Outcomes

On Tuesday 20th February, Klipspringer Director, Alex Carlyon was joined by Denis Treacy, former Chief Officer for Safety and Quality at Pladis Global, Lars Turner, Sales Director at FoodClean, and Reineke van Riemsdijk, Technical Quality Manager and Sustainability Lead at Nestlé Nespresso S.A, to discuss the way in which positive energy can be harnessed to secure predictable food safety outcomes. During the webinar, Denis revisited his Four Energies methodology and explained the principle of GOYA. The panel also explored the best approach to positive decision making, along with the secret to effective target setting. You can watch the full webinar below.


Denis Treacy

Former Chief Officer for Safety and Quality, Pladis Global

Alex Carlyon

Director, Klipspringer

Reineke van Riemsdijk

Technical Quality Manager & Sustainability Lead at Nestlé Nespresso S.A

Lars Turner

Sales Director, FoodClean

Key webinar areas:

Revisiting the four energies of predictable and repeatable outcomes:





A guide to positive objectives and target setting.

GOYA - operating with positive intent on a daily basis.

The secret to positive decision making when issues occur.


There was a Q&A section towards the end of the webinar. Due to the number of questions sent in, there wasn’t time for the panelists to answer in full. With this in mind, Denis Treacy kindly took the time to answer each query. You can find his answers listed below.

When it comes to setting positive targets, what role does sampling and testing play? For example, would the swabbing of equipment following a clean factor into positive target setting?

Put simply, sampling and testing should confirm what is already known and understood. It should also provide documented proof that a system or process is working. If you view sampling and testing as a ‘discovery process’, this suggests the system or process has not been fully or adequately risk assessed – left vulnerable, unpredictable, and liable to surprise.

How do I implement GOYA at my site and how do I ensure it becomes part of a routine practice?

This will work much the same as an Operational Excellence Program. First, you need to identify areas for attention, such as GMP or Good Manufacturing Practices. You will then need to establish a ‘desired state’ to work towards, before deciding on the steps that need to be taken to achieve this goal. The GOYA Principle comes into play when you engage everyone at your site – dividing the steps into manageable parts with specific areas of focus. These areas could relate to factory zones, departments, or groups of people. This strategy will then be deployed in a similar manner to a Strategic Objective Cascade – making sure to implement a routine monitoring process.

If we take the example of a GMP improvement condition, the ‘desired state’ would include elements such as shadow boards, marcation areas, dedicated storage, and photos of the ‘desired state’. The zone in question will also be inspected on a regular basis, with the inspection comparing how the area should look to how the area does look. Instead of simply identifying ‘non-compliances’, you will need to ask: why? This question should be asked of every difference to the ‘desired state’. You will then need to investigate and identify sustainable changes that will rectify these differences.

How can a ‘Crisis Management Process’ be included in a system of Positive Decision Making? Surely, by its very description, ‘Crisis Management’ denotes failure?

If we consider Crisis Management to be a rare and unique event that only happens when disaster is imminent, then it never will form part of a Positive Improvement Process.

However, if we imagine a pyramid, with Crisis and Disaster at the very top, our positive focus will be drawn to the base where many tiny routine occurrences, such as a product that is out of specification, indicate opportunities for improvement.

Crisis Management should be viewed as an anomaly process that has routine at the base and escalates gradually. Each event should be understood, with its nature positively investigated and a sustainable change implemented.

The escalation would look like this:

Out of Spec Product – Adjust process

Out of Spec Product – Re-process product

Out of Spec Product – Send to waste

Out of Spec Product – Product presents a risk

The situation is only a crisis if this escalation happens outside the control of the plant – i.e. if the product is already in the supply chain.

Surely most academics, audit bodies, and educational institutes recognise a Positive Food Safety Culture as the single most important area of focus when it comes to improving food safety?

Chasing the mirage of a Food Safety Culture without some fundamental basics in place could actually increase vulnerability, unpredictability and the likelihood of failures. Instead, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there a robust and reliable Planned Preventive Maintenance (PPM) process in place at my site?
  • Does the Operations team manage the Critical Control Points?
  • Does product, process, pest or hygiene monitoring ever deliver ‘surprises’?
  • Is production subject to ‘Positive Release’, with products checked and tested before being released into the supply chain?
  • Does the procurement team have authority to change material sources, specifications, or delivery formats without reference to the HACCP team?
  • Does my site have a less than favourable Health and Safety performance?

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, Food Safety Culture becomes an irrelevant ideal.

Why is setting targets for the reduction of Foreign Bodies described as a ‘failure measure’ and not one that promotes improvements in food safety?

Here, the positive objective would be to deliver measurable foreign body prevention objectives, such as an ever increasing Engineering PPM compliance, the positive control of segregation, researched and optimised cleaning schedules, or training and competency development. In contrast, foreign bodies or any non-spec inclusions, be they physical, chemical or biological, are a fail.

What is the best approach to adopt if you are struggling to push through ideas at your site?

If you feel like you are saying the right thing, but it’s not being heard, I would recommend sitting down with someone from your Finance Team. You need to find out how much of a positive financial impact your idea could have on the wider business. This should help you to get through to people who are primarily focused on costs, savings, financial targets, factory downtime ect… Say you go to your Operations Team with a £10,000 opportunity, they are much more likely to engage with your idea than if you turned up with a partially-developed plan.

Culture Compass

After 40 years in global FMCG leadership, Denis Treacy founded Culture Compass with the intention of energising a performance culture for individuals, teams, and organisations. Specialising in Safety, Quality, Food Safety, Food Defence, Business Continuity, and Crisis Management, Culture Compass has been securing predictable, sustainable outcomes for almost half a decade.


For over 20 years, Klipspringer has supported thousands of food and beverage production sites across Ireland and the UK. By working closely with industry professionals, we have helped these sites to secure final product integrity and compliance with confidence. Our innovative products and solutions have also helped teams to reach the desired standards of food safety management.

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