In a speech at a food training conference, Google’s Chief Technology Officer Brad Smith acknowledged that the company has had “quite a bit of difficulty” with training its workers in how to cook food.
Smith’s comments came in response to a question from the audience about the company’s efforts to get more employees to cook and eat in restaurants, as part of the companys goal of being the best restaurant company on the planet.
“It’s an important challenge that we’ve been working on for a long time,” Smith said.
He added that the problem with the training program was that it “had a very narrow focus.”
He said that the current focus was on getting workers to be able to cook at home, which didn’t provide enough information about how to safely cook and serve food.
“It is very important that you know how to use a stovetop to prepare a meal, and then how to do that in a safe manner,” he said.
Smith also acknowledged that Google had failed to address “safety issues” in its food training.
But he added that “the focus of the training, which I believe is a good one, has been on how to ensure that people are not cooking in unsafe circumstances, and that the safety is the top priority.”
Smith said Google had spent “hundreds of millions of dollars” in research and development and training to improve the quality of its training.
He said the company had also been working with its food safety partners, such as the Food and Drug Administration, to improve its food product.
“We’re constantly looking at new approaches, new technologies, new processes to improve food safety,” he added.
Google has spent $500 million on food safety in the past decade, including in a number of food-related initiatives, including a $50 million investment in a new food safety system in 2016.
In its most recent financial report, Google revealed that the cost of food safety training for its employees had grown from $7.6 million in 2016 to $18.4 million in 2018.
The company also disclosed that it had made significant investments to improve compliance with food safety regulations, such a $3.2 billion purchase of Nest Labs in 2020, and the acquisition of FoodOne in 2021.