It takes a hero to fail the Food Safety Audit, but heroes arise from time to time due to an oversight from one of the following reasons below.
Number 1: Reacting instead of Preventing
The purpose of the Food Safety Audit is not to test a business’ reaction time to prepare for the audit, but rather to ensure that businesses are meeting the food safety standards in the day-to-day operations. Most companies are adopting new technologies and processes to overcome this hurdle. One such technology is the IoT temperature monitoring solution which is adopted by seafood wholesalers.
Number 2: Pest Droppings / Poor Pest Control
The media loves bringing this issue to light, and the poor business that is featured on the news for this receives heavy criticism from the public; pest activities. Headlines such as “Cockroach found in food packet from Eatery A” or “Rat droppings discovered during audit at Hotel B’s food storage” are interesting, and can easily capture the attention of many.
Dealing with these pests takes an extra bit of effort as the pest control measures must neither compromise the quality of the food product nor harm the food product.
Number 3: Personnel Errors / Smoking, poor hygiene (dirty nails, etc.) or Untrained Personnel
Firstly, ensure that more than 50% of the staff handling food products underwent proper food hygiene training. This should be a given for most businesses, and it may serve as an immediate failure in failing to comply with this.
The staffs’ conduct and hygiene will then be checked on. Things to watch out for are Staff’s smoking location, nail cleanliness, and such.
Number 4: HVAC maintenance
We often overlook the cleanliness of our Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems as they only need to be cleaned every 3 – 5 years. For what our HVAC is providing for us, regular maintenance every 3 years is very little to ask for.
Your HVAC system is an essential item to look out for, as your temperature sensitive assets are the first to go if your HVAC system goes down. Hence, this may be one of the items that Auditors will check for.
Number 5: Insufficient Temperature Log for Cold Storage
This is the next-in-line defense for your assets after your HVAC system. When your cooling unit breaks down, it will be down to your Temperature Monitoring system to alert you of the danger that your assets are in. If the alert notification is not present, then there is a good chance that your assets will not survive the HVAC failure.
Your temperature monitoring system is of utmost importance because it is in charge of 2 key functions. Providing alert notification to follow up with corrective actions, and logging of temperature data to present for audit. Auditors are definitely expecting to see a functioning temperature monitoring system and past temperature logs.
If your current temperature monitoring system is unable to fulfill both of the key functions mentioned above, it is time to switch to another solution provider.
Alternatively, a cheaper and much more portable solution could complement your existing temperature monitoring system to provide full coverage from protecting your assets to preparing for audits.