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Pinned  Ineffective Internal Audit: Underlying Causes

Sep 09 2019 02:36 PM | Simon in Articles

My name is Jean-Guy Cormier, P. Eng. Lead Auditor. I am a professional engineer providing consulting and auditing services for almost 30 years. As a professional auditor, I have done over a thousand audits against food safety, quality management, environmental and health and safety management systems. In the past 10 years, I have done over 250 FSSC audits in the food and packaging industry. I have been working as Lead Auditor for DNV GL - Business Assurance, one of the leading global certification bodies, for 10 years.


After so many years, one observation that continues to linger is ineffective internal audit process. Almost every audit that I have participated in, there have been findings against requirements of internal audits. Arguably, some of the underlying causes, why internal audit process is ineffective are:

  • inadequate training and ongoing professional development;
  • poor preparation;
  • poor utilization of adequate tools;
  • not having the abilities to communicate in writing and/or verbally;
  • Poor skill sets to collect samples of observations and supporting evidences.
Thus, I would like to share my views of what I have encountered. Hopefully, internal auditors can improve their auditing skill sets not only to demonstrate the effectiveness of the facility management system, but, also, identify potential gaps with strong supporting evidence and, more importantly, opportunities for improvement to strengthen the effectiveness of a management system.

Read story →    7 comments    *****    internal auditing, audit

Pinned  Behavioral Based Food Safety – An Alternative Training Methodology

Mar 21 2017 07:15 AM | Simon in Articles

Organizations spend a fortune on employee training.


Organizations spent an additional fortune on quality failure: customer complaints, loss of business, destruction of goods, retesting, repacking, reworking, returns, recall, etc. In most cases the loss is attributed to “the human factor”.


If both of the above paragraphs are true, then something very strange is going on in our workplaces. This article introduces an alternative to traditional training methods to which we have become accustomed to over the years: an effective and enjoyable alternative with measurable results.

Read story →    9 comments    *****

Particle Contamination in Compressed Air: Choosing the right analytical method per ISO 8573

Nov 28 2019 07:49 PM | Simon in Articles

By Jenny Palkowitsh and Stephanie Suarez of Trace Analytics, LLC


Food and beverage manufacturers must carefully monitor their compressed air systems to ensure that contamination will not impact their end products. Particle contamination is of great concern to food and beverage manufacturers, and is discussed at length in the ISO 8573 standard. ISO 8573 specifies purity classes with varying limits of particle contamination. Manufacturers can use these classes along with a risk assessment to determine which purity classes will meet their specific needs. Once this is decided, part 4 of the standard can be used to determine which method of particle analysis is most appropriate for their use. Depending on the purity levels required for the system, either gravimetry, microscopy, laser particle counters (LPC), or a scanning electron microscope (SEM) can be employed. This article will cover the differences between these analytical methods and help manufacturers determine which type of analysis is appropriate to meet their standards and to ensure product safety.

Read story →    0 comments    -----    compressed air testing

How Rodents are Threatening Your Food Safety Procedures

Aug 05 2019 06:28 PM | Simon in Articles

Twenty percent of the world’s food supply is believed to be contaminated by rodents. These pests can carry various pathogens around facilities and can even transmit harmful diseases. Rodents are known to cause severe property damage with their strong jaws and burrowing skills. Unfortunately, food processing facilities offer the ideal habitat for rodents with access to food and water sources, potential entry points and hiding places.

Read story →    1 comments    -----    pest managment, rodent control

The Importance of Compressed Air and Gas Testing to Beverage Quality and Safety

Jun 21 2019 04:58 PM | Simon in Articles

Compressed air and gases are common in beverage manufacturing from the initial stages of production through bottling. Given the importance of compressed air and gases to beverage manufacturing, the quality and safety of this utility should be regularly monitored for contaminants. Combined with proper maintenance, adequate piping, and proper dryers and filtration, compressed air testing can help beverage manufacturers ensure the quality of their end-products.

Read story →    0 comments    *****    compressed air testing and 2 more...

Presumptive Identification of Microbes in Food Grade Air

Mar 24 2019 11:40 AM | Simon in Articles



Food is an essential requirement for the body, but it can also be a means of disease transmission if contaminated with microorganisms. In the United States, 48 million foodborne gastrointestinal illnesses occur annually, resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths (2). These statistics, while alarming, are only of incidences reported. Most foodborne illnesses are not severe enough to warrant a doctor’s visit. Food manufacturing facilities can do their part by monitoring microbial bioburden, not only of food products, but also of the high-risk equipment used in the manufacturing and packaging processes, such as compressed air systems. In food and beverage manufacturing, not only should the ambient air be tested, but also the final processed compressed air for particles (viable and non-viable), water, and oil contaminants. This article will focus on the sources and identification of microorganisms from sampled compressed air using microbial sampling and presumptive techniques. Employing these techniques can aid in manufacturing compliance, product integrity, and cost savings.

Read story →    1 comments    *****    food grade compressed air and 1 more...

The Impact of Oil Contamination in Food Grade Compressed Air

Nov 30 2018 07:29 PM | Simon in Articles

Compressed air contaminated with oil in the food manufacturing process can be costly and dangerous. Recognizing the common sources of contamination, reducing the risks associated, and working with an accredited testing laboratory can help to ensure safety of the end-product as well as continued system health.


This article will describe the sources of oil contamination, associated risks, the regulation specifications regarding oil, and the optimal ways to test for oil contamination in compressed air systems.

Read story →    0 comments    ****-    compressesd air testing and 1 more...

ISO Align and Enhance ISO 22000

Jul 19 2018 11:20 AM | Tony-C in Articles

The long awaited second edition of International ISO Standard 22000 Food safety management systems — Requirements for any organization in the food chain has just been published (June 2018). Not surprisingly, there are a number of changes, there is much closer alignment with other ISO management standards, additional strategic requirements to address organizational risks and opportunities and more detailed food safety requirements.

Read story →    3 comments    *****    ISO 22000: 2018

New System Redefines Performance for GC-MS Applications

Jun 01 2015 06:08 PM | Simon in News

Laboratories performing food safety and authenticity, pharmaceutical, metabolomic, anti-doping and other analyses using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) can now achieve new levels of performance using high-resolution accurate-mass (HRAM) Orbitrap mass spectrometry, bringing the highest level of detection and identification capabilities to GC-MS studies.

Read story →    0 comments    -----    Thermo Fisher Scientific
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