Pro Tip: Follow these Top 10 recommendations to avoid common mistakes when preparing a food safety plan.
Lack of training and teamwork, unclear or contradictory instructions, and unforeseen issues are some of the most common factors that will adversely affect any food safety plan. Here are 10 recommendations to avoid common mistakes:
- Know your prerequisite standard requirements: While there is no guarantee of perfection, regularly reviewing them will ensure your team understands what to do and why they should do it.
- Coordinate monthly self-inspections: Develop a monthly calendar, and perform your self-inspection even if you must change it from the original date.
- Verify the extent of previous nonconformities: Fix what the inspection uncovered, but check if the problem also exists elsewhere in the facility.
- Correction of only the serious and unsatisfactory findings: Findings categorized as “needs improvement” and “observations” are normally ignored, but these findings can become more serious. Develop a plan to deal with all audit findings.
- Focus on the root cause: Solving the problem without addressing its underlying cause will only lead to more serious issues in the medium and long term.
- Ensure your leadership team is committed to your food safety program: Besides providing the necessary resources, the leadership team must also set an example.
- Share the responsibility: Share common activities such as self-inspections and cleaning checkout processes with the entire multidisciplinary team.
- Ensure the quality team has the resources it needs: A quality control level can only be achieved if resources are available.
- Transparency: An attempt to hide issues or justify findings in any way is unethical and only slows down the corrective action process.
- Put the consumer first: Regardless of your role in the food manufacturing process, you are responsible for making sure your product is safe for consumers.
Clementino Feitosa Jr. is a food safety professional at AIB International.