At the 2013 Best Week in Baking, Baking & Snack sat down with contributing editors to discuss critical issues facing the baking and snack industries. Here, contributors Jeff Dearduff and Theresa Cogswell weigh in on the rise in audits.

Baking & Snack asked: What can individual bakeries, as well as the industry as a whole, do about the proliferation of audits?

“Suck it up,” Jeff Dearduff responded.

That’s an opinion universally shared by our panel of experts. Audits from customers, retailers, foodservice chains, military, local governments and federal regulatory agencies have become almost a weekly ritual at bakeries to address traceability, food safety and other business if not legal-cover-my-back issues.

The world of audits has really gotten crazy since Baking Expo three years ago, Theresa Cogswell noted.

“This is one issue that drives me insane,” she said. “I don’t want five different auditors coming into my plant in a week’s time, but if they are my customers, I probably need all of those people to do an audit.”

Audits, she added, are the cost of doing business, but at what price? “If anybody put pen to paper and looked at the cost of every audit, it would be frightening,” Ms. Cogswell said.