The Changing Face of Auditing (2011)

This Conference was organised by IFST Western Branch due to the increasing number of audits that food companies have been subjected in recent years - some of their choosing but others forced upon them. A food audit is usually a stressful event for the management of a food company and the outcome may determine the future success of the business and of an individual’s career.

Abstracts, presentations and podcasts

Why Are We Where We Are? The Origins and Development of Third Party Verification

Kevin Swoffer, Consultant, KPS Resources

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Abstract: The presentation will explain the origins of the development of food safety management standards, the progression towards harmonisation in the UK through initiatives such as the British Retail Consortium Food Standard and the continuing enhancement of food safety schemes.

The presentation will provide delegates with a global perspective of how food safety schemes have developed internationally and the significance of third party auditing has had on the Food Industry in the past ten years.

The importance of the control and management of food safety management schemes will be highlighted and how the accreditation and certification requirements enhance the robustness and integrity of food safety schemes recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative.


The Legal Imperative

Dr Louise Manning LJM Associates Ltd & Visiting Lecturer, Royal Agricultural College

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Abstract: Why audit? The reason for auditing is two-fold either to undertake a system audit to ensure that the organisation’s food safety management systems comply with relevant legislation and industry codes of practice and also to ensure continued, consistent compliance by the organisation with such standards and with their internal systems and procedures. The legal imperative is to ensure that organisational food safety plans and systems comply with legislative requirements, reasonable precautions have been developed and implemented and that there is proof that these systems are appropriate and effective in delivering safe food. Therefore, auditing also has a role in the validation and verification of food safety management systems especially those based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP).


National Audits by FVO (EU Food and Veterinary Office)

John Hukku Former Meat Hygiene Advisor, FSA

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Abstract: In my paper, I will explain how FVO audit missions are notified to Member States, what is expected of Central Competent Authorities, and how such audits are structured, including visiting schedules. I will also tell you what Inspectors will expect during the mandatory reality checks of approved establishments.


UKAS – Our Role in the Process

Paul Stennett MBE, Chief Executive, United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS)

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“Trust but verify” - the Changing Role for Food Law Enforcement

Stuart Musgrove, Food Law Enforcement Consultant

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Abstract: The presentation will review the role of Local Government enforcement with particular respect to the legal responsibilities provided within the framework provided by European Union. It will discuss current political arrangements within the UK and the effect of recent changes to the structure of the Food Standards Agency on Local Authorities.

It will highlight the work carried out by Environmental Health and Trading Standards professionals when carrying out food enforcement visits to the food industry and highlight the differences between a third party audit and a local authority inspection.

I hope to reflect on the evidence of the effectiveness of the enforcement inspection system and will discuss the possible results of the current severe cut backs in Government funding to enforcement departments.

Then a peep into the future, suggesting what changes may be appropriate to the current food inspection system and in particular, where third party auditing may be incorporated into the enforcement system.


Audit of the Audits

Dawn Fassam, Head of Supply Chain Inspection – NSF-CMi & Approved Training Provider for BRC

Abstract: Background to third party auditing.
Benefits of third party audits.
GFSI benchmarking and outline of Accredited / Non Accredited audits.
Outline of standards currently available for third party audit: including BRC.IFS, ISO, Salsa. SOFHT, bespoke standards.
How to choose the standard to use.


Chilled Food Audit Requirements - What’s Critical?

Kaarin Goodburn MBE, Chilled Foods Association

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Abstract: The UK chilled prepared food sector has grown more than 18-fold since 1989 with the market in 2010 exceeding £9billion. Standards developed and adopted by the sector provide the foundation for consumer and regulator confidence and therefore market growth. This presentation outlines the requirements in place for the manufacture of safe high quality unpreserved foods, emphasising the criticality of key controls and therefore auditor understanding of key principles.


Small Business Schemes – SALSA and Others

Chris Grimes, Scheme Director at SALSA

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Abstract: Chris will be talking about the background and development of SALSA and other small business schemes describing their relevance, target markets and relative effectiveness as third party audits in the context of food safety assurance and buyer due-diligence and why he believes that being ‘small and beautiful’ has become so important for food production in the UK.


BRC Global Scheme – The New Standard

David Brackston, Technical Director - Food Schemes BRC Trading Ltd


BRC Issue 6, Getting It Right - The Challenges for Auditors and Certification Bodies

Gordon Hayburn, Technical Director Agri-Foods (Americas) QMI-SAI Global

Abstract: The continued growth of GFSI benchmarked standards audits, whilst good for purchasers and consumers, brings many challenges. There has been a rapid expansion in the number of auditors and there are different levels of knowledge and experience within this group. There is also the truly global aspect of these standards which requires knowledge of regulations and “custom & practice” in many countries. Add to this the comparative newness of these standards in many countries and you have a raft of challenges that the CB’s and their teams have to contend with. This presentation will highlight some examples of the clauses and terms from the standard and methods of working, which require ongoing monitoring in order to deliver the consistently high standard of audit that the companies deserve and the customers expect.


The Customer Perspective – Who Benefits?

Ian Abbots, Hygiene Manager, Marks & Spencer

Abstract: In order to understand why M&S goes it alone on food supplier auditing it is important to understand the history and background to the development of our food business and to the relationships we have with our suppliers. The M&S approach to working with our food suppliers and checking on their standards goes back to the 1940’s and since that time we have always worked closely with our suppliers to improve food safety. Over many years we have developed our Codes of Practice and Guidelines in relation to food safety and hygiene and our supplier audits are designed to evaluate and ensure compliance to these requirements. Our audits, which are carried out by individually approved people with years of food factory experience, are founded on thoroughness and common sense and are focussed on the factory floor. The auditors also have a responsibility to offer, where necessary, detailed and constructive advice which can provide a significant contribution to moving standards forward and this is what our suppliers really appreciate. This is the background as to why relying on unknown independent third party auditing organisations remains a challenge to our business.