Food Auditor- In Food Manufacturing Facility

  1. Introduction

An Auditor is a professional who understands standards & principles of auditing a food safety, HACCP based system and train client employees on food safety. Internal audits can be useful for the business to assess whether or not it is meeting regulatory requirements and ensure complying to all the SOP or guidelines.

There are three levels of food safety auditors recommended in the audit system. The Associate Food Safety Auditor, the Food Safety Auditor, and the Senior Food Safety Auditor. The basic difference between these levels is the amount of audit and industry experience required for each. All levels must be able to demonstrate appropriate competencies in auditing and food safety program development.

The role of the auditor:-

  • is to carry off audits in food industry,
  • to assess the requirements of the of the food safety standards and to report the outcomes of the audits and assessments to the enforcement agency.
  • obtain certifications to certain food safety and quality standards.
  • asses the condition of the premises and products.
  • confirm legal compliance.
  • maintain confidentiality of food safety audit.
  1. Requirement

Nowadays, the interest of the consumers on food quality and safety has triggered and that inculcated to develop a variety of food safety and quality standards in public and private food sectors. These standards have both advantages and disadvantages that varies on different factors for these reason skills of the auditor is used.

In food industry auditors are required to check and follow the legal procedures, certification procedures and certification requirements. And auditor posses’ good knowledge on assessment procedures and asses the relevant documents that helps to identify minor mistakes that will help to avoid mistakes next time. Auditor asses the competence of the organization to provide products, processes, or services in its certified scope. Auditor will have the good communication on the required languages that will help to guide the production and maintenance workers. They have the technical knowledge of the specific activities for which certification is sought and where the relevant procedures are and their potential for failure.

  1. Responsibility

The auditor’s job is to conduct food safety programme audits and assessments, as well as to assess business compliance with food safety programme requirements and the Food Safety Standards, and then to submit the results of the audits and assessments to the enforcement agency. When a food business’s food safety programme fails to produce safe food, the enforcement agency is responsible for implementing appropriate enforcement measures.

For an audit to be successful, the auditor/audit team must have a thorough understanding of the audit process as well as the necessary skills and experience as auditors. The training and experience of a food safety auditor must be considered when evaluating their competency. As a result, successful completion of accredited training would be considered sufficient. Auditors will need to present documentation of audits conducted to meet the applicable audit experience requirements. This could include a log of audits completed, which has been validated by food firms.

Some of the responsibilities of food auditor are as follows:

  • To develop a food safety programme for the food industry.
  • To check in place food safety programme
  • To check food processing techniques, handling practices, and support programs.
  • To check, observe and identifying the hazards that are expected to occur, and establish appropriate methods of control. This includes validating existing control methods and when there is no adequate control method in place, they establish an appropriate method.
  • Establishing the procedures for applying the precautionary action. Typically, this includes review of processes, materials and or food handling procedures. It may require revision of factory procedures and documentation such as specifications, approved supplier programs and operating procedures.
  • To describe the supervising requirements for food safety hazard. It includes explanation of the method or technique to be followed. Procedures selected followed would typically be specific in the form of a standard operating procedure or work training
  • The corrective actions are described of the acceptable limits or requirements are not up to the mark. When the corrective actions are applied the person assessing the corrective action should record the information.
  • The documentation related to the design and the maintenance of food safety program should be developed. It includes tables, support program requirements, data analysis report, corrective action reports, verification reports and hazard analysis .this will be on the nature of the business.
  • Developing a plan for frequent review of the safety program. The review plan must meet food safety legislation/regulations to certify that the food safety program is up to date and satisfactory. Any change that could affect food safety should trigger a review and validation prior to change being introduced. The plan should provide review by an authorized food safety auditor at the regulated frequency
  • Establishing action required if the results of verification that indicate the program requirements that the original program was inadequate
  1. Imapct on Food Industry

It has been seen, the sudden changes in food industry during this pandemic that drastically effected different sectors in food industry things.  The sites that provide product & services to the food industry have faced sudden declines in demand, while other sites providing product and services to retailers have never been busier.  Each of these situations create a disturbance in the food industry, creating audits as an important part for the food safety chain.

Rapid increase in production, industry must recruit and train new and temporary employees. Audits in the food industry are mandatory to ensure the new recruits are following the food safety programs and to know the effect of safety on finished food products. When the production increases that can lead to not giving priority to pre-requisite programs such as sanitation and preventive maintenance. Because of the reduced time allocated for both the programs can lead to improper sanitation and preventive maintenance that could be the result of microbiological and foreign contamination risks. By conducting food safety audits and implementation of food safety programs risks can be minimized and the recalls averted.  Food audits can help to identify areas where the programs may need additional attention that helps to recognize weakness that can be prevented from becoming big.

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