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KEEPING THE INSPECTOR AT BAY AND FOODBORNE ILLNESS AWAY
FOOD SAFETY AUDIT
Third Party Food Safety Audit
A food safety audit is independent to your public health inspector visits.
A food safety audit is an excellent practice to ensure:
Your business meets Public Health requirements and
customer safety needs
Your operation is properly implemented by staff
Your procedures protect your customers
Food Safety Audit – Benefits
You’ve built your customer experience around great food. When placing food safety
as a low priority, you risk all that you have worked hard to gain. Food safety is at the
heart of customer experience.
With all the news reports on outbreaks, food safety violations are top of mind with your customers. Consumers don’t hesitate to share their experiences. A single negative food safety incident can pose serious risks to your bottom line and your good name. Here are some good reasons to do a food safety audit:
When your health inspector visits, they may not spend the time to look at all aspects of your operation. This leaves many areas vulnerable for troublesome issues to develop.
Third Party Food Safety Audits are a tool. They bring to light areas that may be vulnerable in serving, preparing, and storing food in your operation.
Food safety Audits ensure that you are in control of your food safety hazards.
Third party food safety audits also promote continual improvement. They identify areas of weakness in your business.
The goal is to minimize, control and reduce contamination. And, to ensure protection in spreading foodbourne illness, possibly leading to an outbreak.
Food Safety Audit – Cost
It is recommended that an audit be done every quarter. The size of your operation and risk factors determine the cost of your audit. An audit should be performed at least 90 days of anticipated health inspection. And at least one more time thereafter to ensure corrective actions are implemented.
The following are the factors taken into consideration to assess
the risk of your operation, outlined by the Toronto Public Health
Minimum inspections: three times per year
Any eating or drinking establishments that prepare food and meet at
least one of the following criteria:
Serve a high risk population
Use processes involving many preparation steps and hazardous foods
frequently implicated as the cause of foodbourne illness
Implicated or confirmed as a source of foodbourne illness/outbreak
Minimum inspections: two times per year
Any eating or drinking establishments that meet one or more of the
Prepare hazardous food without meeting the criteria for high risk
Prepare non-hazardous foods with extensive handling or high volume
Minimum inspections: one time per year
Any eating or drinking establishments that do not prepare hazardous
food and meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Serve pre-packaged hazardous foods
- Prepare and/or serve non-hazardous foods without meeting the
criteria for moderate risk
Are used as a food storage facility for non-hazardous foods only
Public health concerns related primarily to sanitation and maintenance
Please fill out the form at the bottom of the page to obtain information on
pricing for your business.
Food Safety Audit – Plan
Together we decide dates or perhaps unannounced food safety audit visits.
The estimated time required for the food safety audit is between 2 and 3 hours.
We concentrate specifically on the 8 areas to pass the
Toronto Public Health Inspector’s visit.
These are the areas of the food safety audit that are addressed (not limited to):
Dish Washing (manual and machine)
Supplier Information Reports
Pest Control and Waste Management
Food Production Safety
Daily Storage/Holding Temperatures
Time and Temperature Controls
Holding Temperatures (hot and cold)
Food Safety Training (food handler certification etc.)
Food Safety Audit – Staff Preparation
It is important to prepare your employees for the food safety audit. Employees, and other people who affect food safety in your operation, may be observed or interviewed by the auditor. Remind them the importance of their roles in the food safety audit process.
If interviewed, employees may be asked questions about:
Their roles and duties, and their impact on food safety
Critical limits, monitoring procedures and deviation procedures
Records they complete
Where to find information they need
Ask all employees to:
Review their food safety responsibilities (Geometrix supplies a hand out for employees on the 8 steps to pass the inspection)
Answer questions openly and honestly
Co-operate fully with the auditor
Employees may be asked to take initiative to correct issues right away.
Food Safety Audit – Process
Throughout the process, the auditor will make note of their findings and document any observations and areas for change. Audits may follow these steps:
The auditor might ask for you to familiarize them with your operation.
A contact person is appointed to accompany the auditor.
Food Safety Audit – Observations
The auditor observes working conditions, staff performing their tasks and how records are kept. A staff member walks through the operation with the auditor.
The auditor gathers objective evidence by checking:
Design, construction and maintenance of your facility
Assessment of the flow of food
Employees are trained to follow policies and procedures
Monitoring records are complete
The appropriate corrective actions are implemented
Food Safety Audit – Findings
The results of the audit are shared. Checklists with comments of audit findings,
observations, and corrective action requests are outlined. Corrective action may
be performed during the auditor’s on-site visit. Suggestions are shared for corrective
action and improvement.
Fill out the form below for answers to your questions about a food safety audit.