August 11, 2016
4 Food Safety Audit Mistakes You’re Making and How to Avoid Them
How do you feel when you imagine your next regulatory audit? Stress? Anxiety? Overwhelming dread?
The average recall can cost a manufacturers as much as $10 million, making compliance important to your brand as well as your bottom line.
As you manage the daily ins and outs of your quality role, dealing with a regulatory audit in the moment is just a small percentage of food safety. Instead, a successful food safety audit requires extensive preparation, which can make your audit process run much smoother.
Examine some of the following common food safety mistakes and how you can avoid them and alleviate some of the stress associated with your next food safety audit.
1. You Haven’t Developed an Audit Plan
With the prevalence of information and the ability of that information to spread quickly, customers don’t just expect high levels of food safety, they demand it. Farm-to-fork traceability is necessary to stay compliant and competitive across the food and beverage industry.
What is your plan for achieving audit readiness? Fire-fighting and last minute scrambling for data and documentation isn’t always necessary to maintaining and documenting compliance. In contrast, you can prepare for an audit by checking the accuracy of tests as well as ensuring tests are complete and recorded every single time.
2. You’re Not Efficiently Collecting and Recording Data
In order to maintain food and beverage compliance, required data must be collected and maintained in a secure, efficient way. While there are a multitude of data collection methods, some manufacturers continue to rely on antiquated methods, such as pen and paper or spreadsheets.
3. You’re Reacting Instead of Preventing and Preparing
Use technology and innovative tools to collect more accurate data that is available in real-time so that you can provide documentation of compliance during your next audit. Preparing for an audit with timely reports and data will also allow you and your team to identify problems before they become real issues that can have a negative impact on audit results.
Use the live data you have to take immediate action instead of reacting to older data and cleaning up the resulting mess of unaddressed mistakes. By taking informed action in real-time, you can avoid some of the headaches associated with fighting fires.
4. You’re Not Adequately Documenting Action Taken
When preparing for an audit, documenting irregularities to record the application of proper steps and action is vital. Make sure the technology you have in place not only collects the data necessary to make informed decisions, but also guides your team’s actions and documents those resolutions.
As a food manufacturer (especially if your organization is a manufacturer of high-risk foods) may be subject to an administrative detention of its products or suspension of its registration with the FDA, if you cannot produce the appropriate records to prove that products are safe.
With proper audit planning and easy technology-driven access to real-time data, you can make immediate decisions and document those actions. Instead of worrying about your next audit, prepare with data, action and documentation so you can stress less and breathe a little easier.
Want a step by step guide with details that will prepare you more thoroughly for your next audit? Download our free white paper.