Foreign Body Auditing
Recently there have been many high profile foreign body-related product recalls with major international food companies. In fact 2016 saw an increase in the number of recalls due to physical contamination across the world. For more details read RQA’s report “US & EU FOREIGN BODY RECALLS ON THE INCREASE” This is a reminder that the threat of physical contamination is always present in food manufacturing even with companies who would have the highest food safety controls.
Foreign Body Audit Overview
The RQA Foreign Body Audit is designed to challenge food manufacturers in the management and control of physical contamination risks such as glass, metal, plastic, wood and insects, and assist in ongoing improvements. The RQA consultant would carry out a one-day on-site survey to focus on the risks of foreign body contamination. In advance, the RQA consultant will familiarise themselves with the client’s HACCP, foreign body control and related procedures.
The survey itself will include auditing foreign body controls in areas such as:
- HACCP plans
- Maintenance processes and records including sign-off for restart
- Training of operational personnel and engineers in the risks of foreign body contamination
- Metal detection, sieves, filters, X-ray
- Malicious threat
- Building debris
- Pest control
- Complaints trends
- Plastic, glass, wood & card
- Brushes and utensils
- Internal audit programme
Many of these areas are addressed in retailers’ and other audits but this audit is specifically focused on these risks and on identifying gaps in physical contamination controls. The consultant will provide advice on best practice improvements where the opportunity arises and provide a report summarising findings and recommendations.
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