Bill Bremer is Principal, Food Safety Compliance at Kestrel Management LLC

Top 10 Elements of a Successfully Certified GFSI Program

By Bill Bremer
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Bill Bremer is Principal, Food Safety Compliance at Kestrel Management LLC

Food facilities that successfully achieve certification demonstrate a number of common attributes—regardless of their chosen scheme.

GFSIstandardsDec2014The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) relies on a number of benchmarked schemes to establish food safety requirements, all are designed to ensure the quality and safety of a company’s products.

In order to become certified to one of these GFSI-recognized schemes, a company must undergo a third-party audit by a certified auditor. Kestrel’s experience conducting these audits has revealed that companies who successfully achieve certification demonstrate a number of common attributes—regardless of their chosen scheme:

  1. Corrective and preventive actions are up-to-date and current.
  2. Continuous improvement/root cause analysis process is in place to make ongoing improvements and to ensure final resolutions to all out-of-control issues or non-conformances to the Food Safety Program.
  3. Premises, facility, and building programs are established and operating, including controls, signage, direction, job training, and physical evidence of a fully implemented Food Safety Program.
  4. Preventive maintenance system links scheduled maintenance to Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) critical equipment monitoring requirements.
  5. Approved materials and process specifications are managed and controlled.
  6. Product identification and traceability processes are in place, including complete records detailing all activities for the production of food product.
  7. Document management and control program is updated, validated, and maintained. Developing program management systems helps ensure compliance with document management and control.
  8. Food safety program updates and management are completed through annual and multi-year planning for maintaining the Food Safety Program, including management of change, management review, approvals, and internal audit.
  9. Records and verification management systems provide access to supporting data, as determined by FDA/FSMA and company programs.
  10. Data management of food safety records outlines processes for assuring prompt or immediate access to critical records, as needed, for audit, compliance, or regulatory purposes.

 

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Bill Bremer is Principal, Food Safety Compliance at Kestrel Management LLC

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