The Food Safety Assessment Process and How to Prepare - Paster Training

The Food Safety Assessment Process and How to Prepare

Around 265,000 Escherichia coli infections occur each year in the United States. E. coli is of the many common bacteria that can contaminate food and make people sick.

If you are in the food production, manufacturing, or service industry, it is important to conduct a regular food safety assessment. Food protection programs help reduce the spread of pathogens, such as E. coli.

If you are interested in managing food safety or face a food audit, it is time to start preparing for inevitable food safety reviews today. Learn how with this handy guide.

Start With a Food Safety Plan

Having a food safety plan in place is one of the best ways to ensure that your facility passes a food audit. A food safety plan is a set of standards and guidelines that your facility follows to ensure safe handling practices.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service has some compliance guidelines you can follow when hammering out the details of your food safety plan.

By developing a food safety plan right away around these guidelines, you save yourself the trouble of having to rework your plan later if you face an audit.

Prepare for the Food Safety Assessment

A food safety assessment is conducted by an Enforcement, Investigations, and Analysis Officer, or EIAO for short. Each facility can expect a different form of assessment depending on the type of food it processes.

Meat, eggs, poultry, and vegetables are all subject to their own standards of enforcement. Most assessments can be completed within 5 to 7 production days.

All involve a visit to the facility in question by an EIAO and a thorough inspection into its food handling processes. An inspection happens quarterly in most cases.

A food audit centers around a set of standards known as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, or HACCP for short. Your best way to prepare for a Food Safety Assessment is to make sure that you meet these standards.

Contact the United States Department of Agriculture to see what the industry-specific standards are for your type of food manufacturing plant or restaurant. Then make sure that your employee's practices and facilities are up to code.

Getting Outside Help

If you need additional help determining what standards apply to you, or need help meeting these standards, consider hiring an outside consultant. A consulting firm can provide training to your employees.

They can also make recommendations on how your facility can improve its safe handling practices to meet any regulatory standards.

Some consulting firms can also conduct a mock inspection to help you better prepare for when the real one comes your way.

Proper training from a reputable consulting firm is one of your best ways to ensure your facility is prepared for a food audit.

Keep Your Facility Safe

Keeping your facility clean and safe are important parts of being a food manufacturer or member of the food service industry in general.

A food safety assessment is the only way to measure how safe your operation is. Don't get caught off guard when the government shows up to inspect your facility.

Prepare for your food safety assessment today by contacting us for all of your food safety training needs. That way, when it's time for your food audit, you will be more than ready.

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