Food safety is an important concern in food industry. And, if you work in a food processing facility, you always need to be audit ready. With time, food audits have become more and more rigorous and frequent. There are different types of inspections for which it’s important that you have appropriate systems in place. At times, food audits can be overwhelming and challenging as there are numerous regulations and requests which become difficult to comply with. However being prepared for a food safety audit gives you an edge and helps you gain a good audit score which contributes to the business success.
Here are 7 useful tips to prepare for a food safety audit:
- Ensure Compliance with Regulations
You must always ensure that you are maintaining food industry standards in your plant. Review your Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) and determine its efficacy. Take a backup of the data. FDA suggests that firms must keep their implemented plans regarding food safety documented as the organization can access the records.
2. Identify Risk Areas
You must identify the risk areas in your food processing plant before the audit team does so. Following identification, take appropriate actions to resolve the issues, and develop and implement a better food safety plan to avoid risks.
3. Monitor Storage Temperature
Storage temperatures may vary due to various reasons like closing and opening of doors etc. To get through the FDA inspection smoothly, monitor your storage temperature closely and take measures to ensure that appropriate temperatures are maintained.
4. Appoint Sanitation Experts
Evaluate your sanitation behaviors by appointing experts. It’s essential to determine whether your sanitation counts are in range or not. Improving sanitation efforts could be a complex task and it’s better to have an expert for evaluation before the arrival of the audit team.
5. Evaluate Employee Behavior
Food inspectors also look into the behavior of the employees working in the food processing facility. So it’s better to perform a self-audit for employee behavior and hygiene. If you find any issues, fix them as soon as you can.
6. Team Effort
Every employee in your team must be a part of your audit preparation. Everyone’s contribution is important. Team effort reduces stress and helps in resolving issues faster. Also, hold people accountable for different components of your food safety protocol.
7. Train Your Employees
Sometimes, even the most knowledgeable employee fumbles when questioned during an audit. Select employees in key positions to interact with the audit team and train them to make them confident.
Audits basically provide you with the information about how efficiently your business is operating. And this makes audits an important part of business as you can figure out which areas need improvement for a safer and profitable business. Thus if you are prepared well for your food safety audit, you are, in a way, also making your operations better and more fruitful.