The Food Safety Summit continued on Thursday, October 22, with a session entitled “Practice Improves Performance – Internal Audits for Food Processors.”
Presenters were Kara Baldus, food safety program manager, Hydrite Chemical Company, and Joseph Meyer, global microbiological lead, Kerry.
Meyer spoke first, and said that the purpose of the session was to learn essentials to develop, perform, review and correct an internal auditor program for food processors, as well as honing auditor performance skills and improving audit reporting.
He said that internal auditing is “a systematic examination to substantiate whether activities and related results comply with planned arrangements and whether these arrangements are implemented effectively and are suitable to achieve objectives.”
Meyer said that internal audits provide more opportunity to identify areas of improvement; work with facility internally; and have access to some things to which other auditors wouldn’t have access. He also said to make sure that senior management understands the importance of an internal audit.
Baldus spoke about the scope of an audit—i.e., what areas of the facility/plant will be audited, some common objectives, and the range of activities and the period of record that are subject to audit.
She also spoke about risk assessment, and said that planned internal audits should be executed using a documented schedule. Frequency should be based on risk, severity of consequences if system fails, potential changes to system, historical background, best practice, customer requirements, external requirements.
However, some audits may not follow schedule, due to a customer complaint or out-of-specification results.
Click here to watch this event on-demand.