Pro Tip: Five tips to better prepare your team and your facility for food safety inspection.

Inspections can be stressful, especially if you, your team and facility are unprepared. Here are five tips you can use in preparation for your next food safety inspection:

  1. Know the Standard: Start by knowing which food safety standard is best for your individual facility. By understanding its clauses and applicable regulatory requirements, your team can prepare accordingly.
  2. Develop an Audit Team: A group with diverse backgrounds and roles will help best prepare and see opportunities for improvement that an individual may otherwise miss. You can also rely on your team by having each member focus on specific sections of the standard to ensure compliance.
  3. Audit Internally: This team should audit your facility together, one department or section of the standard at a time. Use your chosen standard as guidance during the audit to help assess your facility and team’s progress. Be curious about what you might find, and don’t be afraid to get dirty, using the standard scoring system to objectively assess your facility and team. Doing so will provide insight into your facility’s risks while directing opportunities for improvement.
  4. Train Personnel: The more personnel who understand the importance of the inspection and its basic requirements, the more you can share its responsibilities and eventual successes. Including inspection preparedness in routine employee training will prove to be beneficial.
  5. Be Audit Ready All the Time: With broad participation, your facility should be ready all the time, as preparedness will be a part of your facility’s food safety culture. This will also prepare you for an unannounced audit, whether third-party or regulatory.

Following this guidance will support your preparedness for a future inspection while building your team’s buy-in, commitment and support for inspection success.

Allie Sequera-Denyko is manager, quality assurance, North America, AIB International.