According to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), internal auditing for food safety has the ability to “add robustness and rigour to the base requirements of food safety principles and provide added confidence and further verification of processes.” With food safety being of the utmost importance in keeping consumers healthy and safe, it is risky not to conduct internal audits to continually ensure all compliance measures required to keep food safe are met on a consistent basis. They also help a company determine if they are likely to pass an external audit.
There are several benefits to conducting internal audits. QMS depends on internal audits to help find and correct any issues well before an external audit occurs. An internal audit also verifies the continuous improvement and compliance with food safety standards. Quality managers have an opportunity to demonstrate this improvement by taking action in correcting any issues that are found.
Some internal auditing best practices include:
- Focusing on an internal audit as an opportunity to improve, rather than a chore or punishment
- Try to make internal audits as fun and simple as possible so employees will not dread them
- Upgrade your auditing process with new—simplifying—mobile technology
- Buy employees lunch
- Allow employees to play music
- Promote positive morale during audits amongst staff
- Avoid shame or blame management when issues are found
- Keep the assessment unbiased
- Make the internal audits more intense than the external audits
- Make your audit an extensive, all-encompassing review of every process
- Report thoroughly on all findings
- Be sure to follow through in correcting all issues
With internal audits being of such importance in ensuring food safety, it is vital for employees to view the process as a helpful step or tool in ensuring compliance, and not a dreaded occasion. If employees are to enjoy participating in audits, or at least refrain from dreading them, they should be as simple and streamlined as possible. The good news is that in this digital mobile age, technology is here to help guide employees through the internal auditing process with ease, so there is nothing to dread but failure to comply.
iComplied is a SaaS based mobile app that will streamline your entire compliance management process. Complete food safety audits with a breeze, and take advantage of easy report generation, and compliance regulation based—pre-made—checklists that you may customize. Sign up for a FREE trial to see how simple your food safety internal auditing can be.