Audit preparation

Audit preparation from Food Safety Solutions Canada Inc

By: Food Safety Solutions Canada Inc  27-10-2010
Keywords: Food, quality assurance, Safety Training

AUDITS & INSPECTIONS                                    


The only way your suppliers have the assurance that your products are safe and meet the agreed specifications or quality, is to have an assessment of your programs by someone independent of your operations. The assessment would usually occur annually, but vary in depth and duration (from a GMP through certification to GFSI standards) based on the customers’ expectations. Your continued business with that customer and the success of your organization hence largely depends on the outcome of these audits.

Even with the best Quality personnel on board, an audit would point out deficiencies in your program, largely because personnel get accustomed to the work environment, and the drive for change and continual improvement is lost after some time. Besides, Quality personnel have to continually manage day to day challenges arising from your operations, and do not have the time to step back and reflect on the best course of action for continual improvement. So why wait for the negative audit results that may affect your business to react. Use one of our experienced auditors to assess the adequacy of your programs against the same audit criteria and determine your readiness for an audit. The certifications of our auditors include and are not limited to:

We offer five distinct levels of service in the auditing division:

1.     Gap assessment & Audit preparation

2.     Internal audits (First party)

3.     Management Review

4.     Supplier audits (Second party)

5.     Certification audits (Third party)


Please refer to the following sections below for further details.


This is a quick way for you to determine your level of compliance with respect to an audit criteria or international standard. An experienced auditor will conduct an assessment similar to your customer or certification audit, and help you identify areas for improvements.

However, we aim to provide value adding services while performing the gap assessment; Instead of simply listing the non-conformities as would be the case in an audit, we would help you:

·         identify your strengths and best practices

·         identify the root causes of the deviations

·         establish an action plan for closing the deviations, and prevent them from recurring

·         identify any additional resources required

·         identify support systems that require improvement, such as communication, training, or even demonstration of management commitment

Based on the outcome of the gap assessment, you may require additional support in closing the gaps, such as review of programs, building improvement, procedure development, additional training or qualified personnel.


We offer assistance in audit preparation in the following areas:

·         GMP, Quality Assurance, Allergen management, food defense (bio-terrorism)

·         HACCP verification audit

·         CFIA registration for export

·         Warehousing and Distribution practices

·         Internal audit to GFSI certification (SQF, BRC & ISO/FSSC 22000)

·         Customer audits, such YUM, McDonald, Burger King, Costco, Schwann, ConAgra, etc.

·         Personal Care and Pharmaceutical products audit

·         Investigative audits further to multiple complaints, or recent recall




All food safety management systems (GMP, HACCP, SQF, BRC, ISO and customer audits) require that regular internal audit be conducted to effectively assess the adequacy of your programs, through monthly inspections and a thorough annual review of the entire system. As senior management member, you also want to ensure that you obtain returns on those regular investments made, and audits are excellent tools to keep track of progress or continual improvement.


The challenges are that, it takes an enormous amount of time to audit all areas of the facility on a monthly basis. Personnel must be trained in internal auditing, and must be independent of the function being assessed.

a)     Monthly visits to monitor effectiveness of programs being implemented.

b)     Involvement of your supervisors who routinely complete standard checklists, and the same checklists used by our auditors to verify the adequacy of monitoring.

c)     Gaps identified would be communicated to a management representative at the end of the audit.

d)     We would assist in establishing an action plan, which will be reviewed for completion and adequacy on successive audits. A long term corrective action plan would be established to prevent recurrence. This would enable us to help you identify root causes, and establish sustainable solutions

e)     Staffs observed not complying with standards are coached on the job.

f)       Completed checklists would be scored to produce trends, which may serve to benchmark different departments or business.

g)     Trends would be prepared to identify areas of improvement at the organization level, as well as focus areas for improvement.

h)     Samples may be collected during these monthly inspections to confirm the safety of the products. We will provide prompt and vital advice how to handle any positive results.

i)       Semi-annual system audits to verify programs are adequate, which would be similar to an audit from an external source. This would include interview of personnel and management, direct observation of practices, review of documents and records, and follow up on any regulatory requirements.




Food safety and quality management systems require that the management review the adequacy of programs in place, so as to enable continual improvement. Along with internal audits, management review determines the sustainability of your programs in place.

This review is different from routine operational meetings that review daily challenges and progress, but a complete review of all data and trends compiled during the year, and suggest improvements.

We would work with your teams, assist them identifying and trending key performance indicators, which would then be assessed by our experts and reviewed by your management team. We would involve your management in reviewing gaps identified during the year, adequacy of improvements brought about, updates in legislations, and challenging programs in place.



Supplier and co-packer monitoring is a key factor in reducing customer or consumer complaints, returns, rework, products on hold, and even a recall that could affect your brand and the survival of your business.

If you have a large number of suppliers or affected by inconsistency and challenges from your suppliers, we could operate as second party auditors, being your eyes and ears, to assess your specific requirements at suppliers’ locations.

Storing off-site? Research shows that a large number of returns and complaints are caused by poor warehousing and distribution practices. It is essential to know whether all the efforts and controls invested at your facility and not wasted while the products are stored off-site at a leased warehouse, or in transit.

If you used co-packers, you have the ultimate responsibility of products they manufactured, since they manufacture under your brand. It is hence vital to assess and monitor the adequacy of their programs. We would tailor our services based on your needs, which could include:

·         Development of an audit program, defining the expectations and frequency of the audits (based on the risk factor of the commodities and performance of the suppliers).

·         Conducting supplier or co-packer audits

·         Benchmark their performance through a standard audit tool

·         Working and assist your suppliers or co-packers in complying with your specifications and standards

The audit performed could include initial certification and routine surveillance audits, based on the following criteria:

·         GMP program

·         Warehousing and Distribution practices

·         HACCP verification

·         Internal audit to GFSI certification (SQF, BRC & ISO/FSSC 22000)

·         Investigative audit further to multiple complaints, production issues, or recall






Our independent auditors maintain their certification, and assist Certification Bodies in conducting initial certification and regular surveillance audits.

Please contact us for further details.






This is a non-exclusive list of what we can offer: We do not like to offer generic solutions, since every business operation is unique. Please feel free to email () and tell us how we could assist. Please visit our website, , for further details about our other services.

Keywords: Food, FSSC 22000, Haccp, quality assurance, Quality Control, quality management system, Safety Training,

Contact Food Safety Solutions Canada Inc


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