Optimizing audit compliance through good cleaning tool selection, use, and maintenance
Many food producers are subject to regular audit to ensure food safety and quality. These audits can be conducted by internal quality personnel, or by external retailer or standard and scheme auditors. The requirements of each audit will vary.
Internal audits tend to be very site or process specific. External audits tend to be more generic and focus on application of best practice. Business to business, e.g. retailer to manufacturer, audits are more prescriptive, detailing specific requirements across all sites that produce for them. However, all stress the importance of implementing controls based on risk assessment.
GFSI food safety and quality scheme requirements
With regard to external food safety and quality audits many of these are now conducted by, or on behalf of, one of the four main Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) approved food safety schemes, these being the
- British Retail Consortium (BRC)
- International Standards Organisations’ Food Safety System Certification (ISO, FSSC 22000)
- Safe Quality Foods Program (SQF), and
- International Featured Standards (IFS)
Between them these four GFSI approved schemes cover over 25,000 certified suppliers in over 140 countries. Food manufacturers who hold GFSI scheme certification are able to demonstrate their compliance with food safety and quality standards more easily and thus protect and improve the reputation and income of their business.
Each GFSI scheme details comprehensive requirements with regard to the maintenance of food safety and quality.
Below is a summary of the current requirements related to the selection, use, and maintenance of cleaning tools.