In place of a “Zero Tolerance” mandate, what you will find permeating the GCSE-Food & Health Protection dialogue or narrative is “Demonstrated Determination”. Unlike “Zero Tolerance” that can be measured by looking for zeros but, admittedly, cannot be achieved; genuine determination can be achieved, observed and measured in all instances. Some people may be able to show fake determination that deceives observers, especially where superficial means such as compliance checklists are employed to assess commitment.
The claim that absolute perfection is not achievable is true. However, this sentiment almost always leads to some sort of resignation that asks: Why bother, since we cannot achieve an absolute state? This kind of sentiment is foreign to operators with an attitude of a genuine and consistent determination to do better. The attitude of unyielding determination produces a continuing positive challenge. It also provides greater (not perfect) comfort to those served by the people who demonstrate such determination.
For operators with unyielding determination, a “Zero Tolerance” stance motivates them to constantly aim for the sky. When failure occurs due to inevitable human imperfections, they end up no lower than the top of the trees, and they keep on trying. Yielding operators, on the other hand, may aim for the top of the trees from where they come crashing to the ground due to the same inevitable imperfections, and they quit trying.
Operators with a truly "demonstrated determination to assure food safety" have the persistent Safety, Security & Quality Assurance (SSQA) attitude that "more can be done". They therefore do not rest satisfied with "near enough", “about right", “we have done everything that is humanly possible” or we are “certified by so and so”.