This article will help you to understand to how to deal with an audit from FSSAI/FDA for continual improvement of your facilities with confidence to face an FSSAI / FDA.
Types of Audits
Scheduled Audits– FSSAI/FDA officials inform Food Business Operators (FBOs) in advance when the audit is to be done. The benefit is FBOs get sufficient time to prepare their documents well.
Unscheduled Audits– Surprise!!! FSSAI/FDA officials are at your doorstep to give you a shock. This creates hassle among FBOs because of lack of time to prepare documents relating to the audit process.
Raids– Complaints filed by consumers will give a reason to Food License officials to conduct an inspection of food quality of your products. If 5 people complaint regarding food quality of your particular product that will give rise to a raid. It is a nightmare for any manufacturer because it damages reputation badly. The brand name gets affected and it takes a long time to regain confidence.
Preparation for auditing
- Infrastructure– Keep your work premises free from any defect. Keep it clean, free from leakages and pests. Storage should be enough to keep food products hygienically that preserves health.
- License– Get right kind of License for your business. Keep a copy of it always at your work premises. The auditor will definitely look at your license. It should be updated.
- Documentation– Food Safety Management System (FSMS) is the primary document of every FBO. It includes food safety plans as for how you are going to proceed. The auditor may ask for your annual turnover and other related documents that contain records of various tasks undergone by you during a year.
- Process– Food manufacturing, packaging, dispatching and storing flows from a well-defined process. That process needs to be accurate. No delay in operations is the backbone of success.
- Manpower– Your employees must be acquainted with food safety norms. It is the employees who are responsible for maintaining quality levels. An auditor may interrogate them on any process issue regarding their work area. Health check-up certificate of all employees has been made mandatory as per new laws.
Process of Audit from FSSAI
All food Business operators (FBOs) must know how to tackle an auditing process from FSSAI/FDA as auditing is an essential part of the food sector.
Step 1– whenever a person comes for an audit, ask him to show his FSSAI/FDI ID card before disclosing your documents.
Step 2– if an auditor raises Non-Compliance issues, make note of it. Now try to make him understand about your process strategy to remove non-compliance issues. But yes, ‘DON’T ARGUE’.
Step 3– Be precise with documentation work. Show him only documents that are relevant to his questions. Don’t build a pile of documents around him.
Step 4– Generally, Non-compliances are raised during auditing. Now ask him against which clause that particular noncompliance has been raised. This will make the officials from FSSAI/FDA to ensure that they raise right questions.
Now be ready to face audit from FSSAI with confidence after preparing above-mentioned points. Understand the nature of the audit. Be patient with the auditor as he is always eager to issue Non-compliances. Try to improve on all Non-compliances frequently otherwise, they can impose penalties.