I worked for a bakery that conducted tours; no where near the same number of people though. We usually had 20-50 people. Prior to the date of the tour the individual who set up the tour would be sent a copy of our visitor policies. This included GMP's, being sick, etc. as well as plant safety policies. All visitors had to follow all of our gmp's, so washing hands, wearing hear/beardnets, no jewelry, no nail polish, etc. They were taken into production, but we had a straight line process that was easily roped off so that they were never any closer then 15 feet from the product. They also were accompanied by multiple employee's with the company. We had a list of all visitors, which we used as their sign-in, and they wore a different color hairnet that indicated they were visitors and not employee's. These types of tours usually occurred 6 times a year, if that. It was our way of letting the community know who we were and that we are there. We never had any issues with the tour and our SQF auditor never seemed concerned.
We also did an open house in the summer for employee's to bring their friends/family in to see the plant. For this event, there may have been more people to come through, but because it was held for 3-4 hours, only a handful of people were touring at any given time. We followed all the same protocol as for a normal tour. We did do decorations and things for the kids, but it was all done outside. For this, the employee had to be the one to give the tour, and there was a designated tour route. Management was out on the floor to ensure that this was being followed.
I'm not sure if the plant is still doing them. I was the one that scheduled and planned for the event (even though I was the Food Safety Manager) and since leaving I am not sure if anyone else took that over.Go to the full post