If you’re head down running a busy kitchen, the thought of an impending food safety audit is probably enough to give you chills. For a start, there’s a mountain of paperwork required. You’re heavily reliant on team members constantly remembering their regular tasks and keeping accurate records. Plus, in recent years, hospitality businesses have had to manage the changes from the 1981 Food Act to the 2014 Food Act to make sure they remain compliant.
This article will help you feel more confident about an upcoming food safety audit, give you knowledge on how to make it go more smoothly.
A food auditor is responsible for assessing your kitchen’s food safety management systems, and evaluating whether it complies with government legislation and regulations. In this case we’re talking about a regulatory audit against your Ministry for Primary Industries’ Food Control Plan (FCP). He or she will also make sure that your written records match your procedures.
Food safety audits are designed to keep staff and customers safe. But they can also cause you a massive headache if you’re not well prepared. So check out these 4 handy reminders and feel better prepared when your next audit rolls around.
The weeks leading into your audit is not the ideal time to start gathering documents and checking records are completed accurately. You should be regularly reviewing your records over the year and be confident that you are audit ready all the time.
Play some tag
Make your documentation easily accessible for your auditor to save them time and frustration. Create a clear way of flagging the information needed – simple, colour coded sticky notes are a good way to make sections or pages stand out. The more time it takes your auditor to find the info they require the more expensive the audit will be. Start preparing as soon as your auditor has confirmed their appointment.
Have a team talk
Make sure your team knows the date and time of the audit. Your team must be ready to answer your auditor’s queries, and provide additional records as needed.
Be confident in your processes
The auditor will not only review compliance through your records, they will want to see these processes in action. Internally review what is happening in your kitchen, making sure staff are on top of your plan and your requirements in their food prep and service roles.