Food processing facilities are often subject to audits to ensure that they are following proper food safety practices. Preparation for these events is important, which is easier when the audit is scheduled ahead of time. However, they can be unannounced! However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. Pest management improvements are being made in pest prevention through exclusion, sanitation, and preventative maintenance. Below are four tips to help make sure that you are prepared for an audit at any time.
Establish a Proactive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program
An IPM strategy should be developed with your pest management provider. It should be a comprehensive look at all factors that may contribute to pest issues and be designed to reduce pest pressure, address sanitation and exclusion issues, and actively monitor for pests. The goal of the IPM program is to proactively deal with pests and prevent as many issues as possible, which is why communication, prevention, and food safety are key elements for success in the IPM strategy at IFC. These programs are tailored to meet a facility’s specific needs based on a wide range of different factors which adapts as the facility and pest pressures change over time.
Implement an Employee Pest Sighting Log
The more eyes you have looking for pest activity and conducive conditions at your facility the better. By providing sighting logs that are easily accessible to employees, you will have a better idea od any potential pest problem areas. Once the pest sighting log is implemented, you and your pest management provider will need to make it part of the routine of reviewing sighting logs and responding appropriately.
When it comes to an audit, documentation and having a well-established paper trail are key for food facilities. Keeping documentation of everything that occurs at the facility will prove that you understand and have a handle on things. Your pest management provider should also be reviewing the documentation after every visit with you and outline the steps that needed to be taken.
All of these documents should be well organized so that information is easy to find when necessary. By doing this, it will help you answer auditor questions and demonstrate how well your IPM program is doing. Plus, it can help you identify ways to improve your overall food safety program.
Review the Food Safety Standards
One of the easiest ways to prepare for an audit is to review the food safety standards. Everything that an auditor will review is laid out within the audit standards. By taking time to review them, you will be prepared to make necessary changes to ensure that your facility passes the audit.
Food safety audits can seem daunting but working with a team who supports you to exceed these standards and a team that knows how to be prepared can make things easier on you. And by taking the time to prepare, you can ensure that any questions or expectations form the auditors don’t catch you off guard.
To see other audit preparedness recommendations we share with our customers, click here.
For more information on our Audit Support Program, Request a Free Assessment now.