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Is it possible to pass a GFSI audit with a poor food safety culture?


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Poll: Food Safety Culture Poll (165 member(s) have cast votes)

Is it possible to pass a GFSI audit, but have a poor food safety culture?

  1. Yes (119 votes [72.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 72.12%

  2. No (36 votes [21.82%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.82%

  3. Unsure (10 votes [6.06%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.06%

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#26 GMO

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 05:54 PM

Agreed, I'm only into my second year of being audited and I was shocked at how quickly the auditors were ticking boxes going 'yep, yep, yep, yep' etc.. Basically as long as the previous week's paperwork is in place and correct that'll do. Sometimes I actually try and prompt the auditors to look a little further back but they aren't interested. Ticking boxes doesn't make food safe to eat but apparently that's all it takes to satisfy people that all is well

Not all but some.  Sad they still exist.  



#27 GMO

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 10:19 AM

An update... if you consider that 2 Sisters have recently published hundreds of audits across their sites in the public domain yet no major issues were found until after the expose...  Then you consider the whistle blowing article had huge indicators of bad food safety culture...  Yet it's an open secret in the food industry that you go to 2 Sisters to kill your career especially if you work in Technical and Operations (why else have they been trying to change that perception outwardly yet obviously not trying to do so inwardly)...  Then I have to say that the answer should be a resounding "yes, of course it's bloody possible!"



#28 Timwoodbag

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 01:45 PM

An update... if you consider that 2 Sisters have recently published hundreds of audits across their sites in the public domain yet no major issues were found until after the expose...  Then you consider the whistle blowing article had huge indicators of bad food safety culture...  Yet it's an open secret in the food industry that you go to 2 Sisters to kill your career especially if you work in Technical and Operations (why else have they been trying to change that perception outwardly yet obviously not trying to do so inwardly)...  Then I have to say that the answer should be a resounding "yes, of course it's bloody possible!"

Well I am interested now, send me a PM with some details or a link?



#29 GMO

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 01:53 PM

Well I am interested now, send me a PM with some details or a link?

 

I'm not sure who you are but... the recent info on publication:  http://www.2sfg.com/...ltry-audit-data

The select committee hearing where Ranjit tried to claim kill dates weren't being altered: https://www.theguard...l-inquiry-hears

I won't repost rumour here but the stories regarding technical standards were frequent and from many sources including direct from employees I knew.  If you want more info on what they're like to work for, it might be worth a look at glass door. https://www.glassdoo...ews-E523766.htm



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#30 Timwoodbag

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 02:23 PM

I'm not sure who you are but... the recent info on publication:  http://www.2sfg.com/...ltry-audit-data

The select committee hearing where Ranjit tried to claim kill dates weren't being altered: https://www.theguard...l-inquiry-hears

I won't repost rumour here but the stories regarding technical standards were frequent and from many sources including direct from employees I knew.  If you want more info on what they're like to work for, it might be worth a look at glass door. https://www.glassdoo...ews-E523766.htm

Thank you! I thought you were being sneaky with saying "two sisters".  Never heard of the company 2 sisters before....interesting reads so far!



#31 kbyrneNC

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 04:52 PM

I think it's possible - and I completely agree with ganderson64's post on it - but I don't think it's sustainable; at some point, it's going to get too much to handle.



#32 GMO

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 12:34 PM

I think it's possible - and I completely agree with ganderson64's post on it - but I don't think it's sustainable; at some point, it's going to get too much to handle.

 

I used to think that way but now the more businesses I see with poor standards, who survive and survive, I'm no longer sure it's true.  I worked for one company who told me to lie to a customer about the root cause to a complaint (while they were still sending product with the same defect).  In 5 years their business has doubled in size.  I saw another who supplied temporary staff to the food industry who were faking the English tests.  4 years later, their business is about 3 times bigger than it was.  Fact is if cheating and lying your way didn't work, people wouldn't do it but generally it does work. 



#33 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 03:46 PM

I used to think that way but now the more businesses I see with poor standards, who survive and survive, I'm no longer sure it's true.  I worked for one company who told me to lie to a customer about the root cause to a complaint (while they were still sending product with the same defect).  In 5 years their business has doubled in size.  I saw another who supplied temporary staff to the food industry who were faking the English tests.  4 years later, their business is about 3 times bigger than it was.  Fact is if cheating and lying your way didn't work, people wouldn't do it but generally it does work. 

And there's my depressing quote of the day, thanks GMO XD.

 

Another example, the fact that AIB auditors gave glowing reviews to PCA prior to the outbreak, while some retailers don't like them anymore, AIB is still doing just fine as a CB..


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#34 GMO

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 04:46 PM

And there's my depressing quote of the day, thanks GMO XD.

 

Another example, the fact that AIB auditors gave glowing reviews to PCA prior to the outbreak, while some retailers don't like them anymore, AIB is still doing just fine as a CB..

 

Crikey!  I hadn't even thought of the CBs role in the Peanut Corporation of America scandal.  When it was so severe the most senior people in PCA were jailed that's surely damning for AIB???



#35 Simon

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 05:09 PM

You have to remember an audit is like an MOT (annual vehicle check for road worthiness in the UK), it means was ok at that moment in time against what checked.  An audit is similar.  If there is a complex conspiracy between senior executives of a business to hide and falsify results its not unsuprising they didn't get found out by the certification body.


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#36 TimGoss

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 06:04 PM

Before I left the SQF facility I was at, SQF was going with one unannounced every 3 audits. Places can become extremely adept at preparing for an audit, and for a solid week every year be completely compliant. Unfortunately, that isn't indicative of how the facility runs on the day to day, only how well they prep for an audit. 

I wonder if anyone is experiencing hits to their scores with the unannounced that have been happening?



#37 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 07:22 PM

You have to remember an audit is like an MOT (annual vehicle check for road worthiness in the UK), it means was ok at that moment in time against what checked.  An audit is similar.  If there is a complex conspiracy between senior executives of a business to hide and falsify results its not unsuprising they didn't get found out by the certification body.

True, but given the rodents and tracability issues at PCA, there should have been more findings. Not to be mean to AIB, FDA loves to give out "no action indicated" audits for years, then post outbreak go back in and claim that problems have been happening forever.


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#38 lorlandini

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 07:27 PM

Food safety needs to become a way of life, not just a yearly event.



#39 PEACEQUEEN

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 09:23 PM

Unfortunately it is, but it is also why a large percentage of SQF Certifications fail the following year. I have worked in companies that on a daily basis have the resources in place to run a truly compliant business. From Document Control to Training to Quality Department and everything in between.  When you have the resources in place to monitor controlled processes and records, the mad rush at audit time is whittled down to a few meetings to make sure your ducks are in a row.  When resources are provided to effectively train, retrain and refresh training, you have an employee base with buy-in as to why they have to do things a certain way.  When resources are provided to motivate employees, you build a company that takes pride in their work ethic.  When you actually hold people accountable, you weed out non-compliance and replace with compliance savvy staff.  True compliance at food safety and medical device level is not for the faint at heart and not for the fake it to make it methodology.  It has to be a daily, day to day reality.  I've seen it exist, so it's not impossible. The buy-in starts at the top.  If that's not there, the poor practices and poor culture are merely a reflection of the owner.  A business Owner and their Senior Staff is either authentic and takes pride in the product or they do not. Poor culture does not only exist on the production floor.



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#40 GMO

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 08:24 AM

True, but given the rodents and tracability issues at PCA, there should have been more findings. Not to be mean to AIB, FDA loves to give out "no action indicated" audits for years, then post outbreak go back in and claim that problems have been happening forever.

 

Trace can be faked, rodents are hard to hide unless the auditor is terrible.



#41 Leila Burin

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 03:40 PM

Hello 

Andy_Yellows, you SHALL change you auditor, then....

best regards,

Leila



#42 QualityMitch

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 08:41 PM

It is possible, like others have said, if a few weeks before the audit there is a push for compliance, the place will seem to be in compliance. This can usually be detected by going through the paper trail. However, that relies on the auditor knowing which thread to pull and where. 



#43 MW1414

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 02:18 PM

Unfortunately this is what happens. I've worked for two different companies; one of the Big 10 cold storage 3PLs in North America and one of the very well known food manufacturers in North America. Both were SQF certified facilities, but yet some of the day to day operations were questionable. I completely agree that most companies make their best efforts to comply with audit requirements within the audit window. One of the companies would hire several temporary cleaners to clean during that audit window period to make sure the building looked presentable. Now this looks good at first glance, but it's truly a snapshot of what is going on, and it's not a permanent fixture in any type of sanitation program. It's literally just to make the auditor think this is normal day to day business. 

 

Reading all these comments makes me wonder if this issue is a huge flaw within the GFSI scheme. I'm in favor of completely unannounced audits and even have a surveillance audit after a re-cert audit. It would keep a facility on their toes and more honest. After all, food safety is the GFSI schemes exist. Right now they're just being used as a marketing tool and not fully practiced on a daily basis it would seem. 



#44 GMO

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 07:42 AM

Ooh kind of zombie thread but a pertinent one...

 

Since my last posts I know of a company who had a massive contamination issue onto ready to eat (very high micro risk) product.  Still sent it out.  The company is still thriving.  How they convinced themselves they didn't have reason to believe it could be injurious to health I have no idea.

 

Much like theft a small proportion of perpetrators get found out but unlike theft, the investigatory bodies are extremely underfunded (rather than slightly underfunded).  People only toe the line when there are consequences.  The law hasn't got enough teeth for that yet, the potential financial gains can be huge.  To fake it for the yearly GFSI or once in a blue moon EHO?  Piece of cake sadly.  The only bright spot is the full genome sequencing taking place for people with confirmed food poisoning.  It's likely to (gradually) catch people out although probably many years later and after people are hurt.  There are a few people I would take pleasure in testifying against should that ever come to pass...






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