All businesses in the Food and Beverage sector are subject to a yearly third-party audit. Whether its GFSI, ISO 9001 or HACCP, such audits are designed to evaluate a company’s practices with regard to food hygiene and safety, cleaning and sanitation, and sometimes even allergen controls throughout the entire process (from design to delivery).
For those who are less familiar with the audit process, it’s important to remember that an audit brings in professional expertise. It’s an independent, systematic and documented process for obtaining evidence that will be objectively evaluated to form a judgment against a standard. All of these elements are subject to government and municipal regulations. Their primary function is to protect consumers from possible contamination or misinformation.
Also remember that an audit is a tool for continuous improvement. It allows businesses to take stock of existing practices so that any shortcomings or areas of non-compliance can be identified and corrected.
A “typical” audit lasts several days, during which a qualified auditor will evaluate a number of things. For example, are the facilities and equipment clean and in good condition? What is the flow of products, including raw materials, finished products, packaging, waste, etc.? What about the practices of operators? Do they clean their hands, wear proper attire and work safely? Do employees use the appropriate work methods, such as rotating stocks?
Having a tool such as the Total Chemical Management Platform will facilitate this verification process, mainly by providing proof of chemical consumption at a specific given time. It can also help change the pace and manner in which a company uses the information from tests. The platform allows data to be retrieved in a number of ways, and can be used to compare weeks or months of data so that product quality and profitability can be improved. Identifying deficiencies in a facility is the first step in improving and enhancing your food safety and quality programs.
Audits can sometimes be a painstaking process for business leaders, but with the Platform you no longer need to fear them!