Passing audits is no easy task. Whether for GFSI, the FDA, or a customer-required check - the consequences of failing can be costly. When companies pass their audits, they celebrate the entire staff, but failure tends to rest solely on the shoulders of the FSQA team. Prevent future failure by learning and avoiding the top five most common mistakes.
1 - Human Error
As the saying goes, to err is human. Some human error is unavoidable; the key is to minimize its chances as much as possible. Make sure all employees are well-trained and understand the reasoning behind rules and regulations. When employees understand the "why" behind processes, it's easier to remember them moving forward. Perform regular internal audits and spot checks to ensure that employees follow procedures and are ready for auditor questions.
2 - Compliance vs. Business as Usual
During audits, FSQA teams can be pulled in two directions - preparing for the audit and keeping the business running as usual. Management must set the expectation for the entire company that compliance comes before anything else. The consequences of failure will cost the company more time and money than a delay in product delivery.
3 - HACCP Failure
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) help to prevent foodborne diseases and protect consumer safety. HACCP documentation is critical for audits - documentation should be complete and comprehensive. Skimping on HACCP documentation is a red flag for auditors and will lead to further investigation and deeper dives.
4 - Lack of Supplier Control
All the best guidelines and processes won't be enough to keep your organization compliant if you are out of sync with your suppliers. With today's increasingly complex global supply chain, it's harder than ever to manage food fraud and contamination risk. Tackle the issue with supplier scorecarding. Scorecard suppliers—and share results—gaining a clear picture of how suppliers perform against your business requirements.
5 - Disorganization and Static Systems
There's no getting around it - prepping for an audit is tough. You need your data organized, up-to-date, and quickly accessible. Filing cabinets just won't cut it anymore. You must ensure your business is always audit-ready for GFSI, FSMA, HACCP, or any other audit program with quick access to crucial documentation.
The way to pass audits is to be ready for them at any time by keeping accessible and actionable documentation up to date and automating processes.
Our eBook, "The Food Safety Audit Handbook," offers guidance to prevent future failure and sail through certification. Download the eBook here.