Whether it is a GFSI audit, retailer audit or audit for any of your customers, the consequences of failing audits can be very costly. Doing well in audits is a big team effort involving everyone in your business, yet doing audit failure and its causes often weighs disproportionally of the technical and QA function. Here are the top reasons food companies fail audits:
- Lack of supplier control
There is no point implementing strict practices and guidelines throughout your business if your suppliers don’t follow suit. With today’s global food chain, it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage risks of food fraud and contamination.
For this reason it is essential that you risk assess and approve all of your suppliers and check their relevant certification. Then all of this needs to be maintained up to date and audit ready 24/7. Using a the QADEX supplier approval management modules is an efficient way to stay on top of all suppliers, and lowers the risk of failing an audit.
- Senior Managers VS Compliance
When audits come around, there is often a conflict of interest within a business. Quality assurance managers and other members of management will need to ensure processes are up to standards and comply with all legislation. However, this could mean stopping and assessing the production line, and may interrupt ‘business as usual.’ This puts pressure on operational managers who have a production schedule to stick to. However, senior management need to understand the consequences of failing an audit – which will cost a lot more than a delay in delivery.
The ideal scenario is that your factory is running in an state that is auditable at any time 24/7. The days of knowing months in advance when an audit was due to take place and then getting everything pristine for the day of the audit are long gone.
- Human error
Human error occurs in all industries. Ensure all your people are well trained and motivated to ensure they know what they are supposed to be doing and more importantly understand why they are supposed to be doing what they are doing.
Then your QMS systems and internal audit should provide verification that everything which is supposed to happen, has happened.
- Failure of HACCP
The Hazard and Critical Control Point System helps prevent foodborne diseases and operates to protect consumer safety. HACCP documentation is incredibly important to auditors and retailers, so if it isn’t complete or comprehensive enough you can be sure to fail your audit.
- Lack of Organisation and Documentation
Audits require accurate and ample documentation for inspection, and for businesses with a wide range of suppliers it can be a struggle to keep everything organised. From supplier certificates to allergen risk assessments, a filing cabinet in an office just won’t cut it (it’s near enough a sure fire way for failing audits). There are many software programs out there that have been designed especially for food companies, and can help them keep on top of paperwork and pass audits.
One such system, QADEX, offers modules such as Supplier Risk Assessment, Allergen Management, Customer Complaints Management and Finished Products Specifications.
So, there you have the top 5 reasons for audit failure and its causes – take action now and make sure you pass your next audit.