Internal Food Safety Audit

Discussing Audit-Ready 365

with Charlotte Atchley on the Since Sliced Bread Podcast

I had the great honor of sitting in with Charlotte Atchley of the Since Sliced Bread Podcast to discuss food safety. Specifically, the significant role culture plays in an effective food safety program, and how an internal food safety audit can be the first step in making your company audit-ready 365. 

Hear the full podcast here:

Internal Food Safety Audit

How auditing has impacted food safety over the years

Several years ago, 3rd party food safety audits were not a common event. Now, it’s hard to do business in the food industry without having a 3rd party audit. The industry uses these audits to strengthen food safety within the supply-chain, thus reducing risk. A key requirement is for companies to have an internal food safety audit program, where trained internal auditors routinely verify that the facility is effectively implementing their food safety programs. This helps to continuously improve the internal systems, culture and process efficiencies. 

Why Food Safety Culture is So Critical

Written procedures are not enough in today’s industry. We need a change in mind-set. Food safety shouldn’t be considered a hurdle to be cleared and forgotten about. A culture of food safety not only prevents production issues and potentially devastating recalls, but it can be a critical key performance indicator (KPI). KPIs evaluate the success of an organization or of a particular activity - such as production mistakes, product holds, and overall food safety issues. Improvements in these areas translate into monetary benefits. But a successful food safety culture always starts at the top. When Senior Management embraces the concept, creates a food safety culture team led by a charismatic, well educated individual,  a good culture begins to take root. Organizations typically see all members of production making better decisions.

How to Become Audit-Ready 365

Audit-ready 365 means that a company feels ready for an external food safety audit each and every day. The physical structure of the facility is always maintained and records are completed, verified, organized, and stored in a timely manner each week.

This is important for two reasons:

  • Regulators typically do not let a company know when they will show up for an audit, so a facility should always be ready.
  • The food industry is trending towards unannounced audits. The current Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) requires that facilities take part in an unannounced audit at least every 3 years. That number is likely to only increase in the next several years so companies need to prepare now.

Conducting effective internal food safety audits and correcting nonconformances will help to reduce the number of violations that 3rd party audits find when they show up unannounced. Scoring well on unannounced audits will help companies showcase their culture and food safety and quality practices, which often leads to new business opportunities. 

 Other tips to help your company become audit-ready 365 include:

Training goes way beyond binders and classes. Embracing a food safety culture and performing internal food safety audits plays a huge role in keeping your programs in compliance and audit-ready 365.

Become Audit-Ready 365 with FSQ Services

I had a great time discussing food safety, being audit-ready 365, and the value of an internal safety audit with Charlotte Atchley of the Since Sliced Bread Podcast! In today's environment, written procedures are simply not enough. Whatever your training needs are, you are sure to find what you need by either locating the right public class for you or contacting us directly to schedule your private training.

About the author

Food Safety Specialist Lance Roberie

Lance Roberie

Food Safety Consultant and Trainer

Lance Roberie has over 20 years of quality assurance and food safety experience within the food industry. Mr. Roberie holds the following certifications:

Lance and the Food Safety & Quality Services’ training curriculum will advance your team's food safety knowledge through certified training, consulting, and “real life” industry scenarios.

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