How an Internal Audit Will Improve Food Safety

An internal audit is necessary to ensure effective food safety plans. Many food operations are inspected by regulatory agencies yearly or quarterly to check to see that they are following proper food safety procedures. The frequencies that these establishments are inspected are essentially inadequate to preventing foodborne illness. If they were as effective as we hoped, then there wouldn’t be any outbreaks, but foodborne illness outbreaks are part of our common food environment. This is a big reason driving the new FSMA regulations.

How Internal Audits Will Improve Food Safety | ResproFSP.com

Food processor businesses and retail outlets, such as restaurants, should incorporate their own internal audits or inspections to verify their food safety plans are being followed. These audits should be written into the plan as a verification step, including documentation and retention.

At Respro Food Safety Professionals, we audit our clients monthly to verify their food safety plans, but we still encourage our clients to do their own inspections daily. We don’t always like to be the ones to uncover problems in an operation. We try to empower our clients to take more responsibility for their food safety practices. This will allow them to control and manage issues as they happen rather than after an inspection from us or the health department. This leads to bigger problems or more serious consequences.

The internal audit will help an organization identify problems in food safety plans. Then managers can focus on training and make necessary changes before any problems lead to bigger issues, such as foodborne illness outbreaks. The auditing process should work hand in hand with an organization’s training resources. The audit will essentially verify whether the training program is working or not. If it isn’t, then it will give managers valuable information on what changes should be made to the training program. This structure is built from basic HACCP principles. It’s constantly evolving, making the food safety defense plan stronger as time goes by.

We are working on giving our clients the ability to do internal audits electronically through Freshability software. This automated program will make the internal audit process easy to use and review since it will be kept in an online database for anyone in the organization to access. It’s the quickest way to spread the valuable information gleaned from the audit to the entire organization.

Visit Respro’s Manager’s Toolbox for valuable resources to help you take control of food safety in your restaurant, factory, or processing plant:

  • Foodborne Illness Report
  • How to Pass a Heath Inspection / Internal Audit
  • Respro Cooling Log
  • Respro Health Inspection Checklist
  • Unit Temperature Log
  • Walk-In Log

For help developing a customized internal audit program, please contact us!

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