Risk management and the role of the Auditor (2012)

On Thursday 11 October, IFST's Western Branch held the second conference on food auditing. The first conference held in 2011 looked at the changing face of food auditing and how it affects food businesses. The 2012 event looked at the food safety and the important role the auditor has in protecting food businesses from the damaging consequences of a food safety incident and the impact that it can have on brand reputation.

The food auditor plays a crucial role in the management of food safety and the reduction of risk, both to the consumer and the food business. All food businesses are required by law to have documented systems in place that address the issues of food safety and a responsible manager of a food business asks questions such as ‘how robust is the company HACCP, BRC, ISO, GMP, etc., in delivering safe food to the consumer’ and ‘have I identified all the threats, categorised them and looked at ways to reduce them to manageable levels’. At the same time a good manager has prepared for the worst and developed product recall and crisis management systems and has trained staff in their implementation. All of this needs continuous scrutiny by competent, qualified experts who are trained to detect the weaknesses and flaws in the operating systems and provide guidance and advice so that company standards can be continuously improved and upgraded. It is a never ending task and the food auditor plays a pivotal role in this process. In this respect the ability and competence of food auditors and the quality of their training has an important bearing on the safety of the nation’s food products.

IFST's Western Branch assembled an impressive line-up of speakers who addressed the potential consequences of ignoring the risks, the extent of the risks, methods of managing the risks, the difference between auditing and inspection, the validation and verification of HACCP, the FSA’s earned recognition scheme using compliance performance histories, the training and competence of auditors, organic standards and the law and the approach of a multiple retailer to food auditing.


The Role of the Auditor and the Consequences of Ignoring the Risks

Paul Bache MBE, Paul Bache Consulting Ltd


Managing Risk through Certification

Gwenda Jarret, DNV Certification

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The Risks - More than just Food Issues?

David Brown, FQC Solutions

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Auditing is not Inspection

Louise Manning, LIM Associates

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Validation, Verification and Auditing

Ruth Bell, AF Associates/IFST Science and Technology Committee


The Auditor and Food Safety Management

Philip Knight, Knight International Inspectorate

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Earned Recognition

Sharon Egan, Food Standards Agency

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The Organic Standard is a Legal Requirement

Richard Jacobs, CEO, Organic Farmers and Growers


Food Auditing - A Supermarket Approach

Phil Shaw, Head of Category Technical Management (Core grocery, Chilled, Frozen, Impulse, Bakery, Meal Solutions and Café) Asda

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Auditor Competency

David Brackston, Technical Director, BRC Global Standards

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