I wanted to pick your brains on the quality of a 3rd party audit.
We are looking at copackers at the moment and recently visited an operation (beverage production) in the Western US. We identified a whole range of food safety issues such as a badly cracked/ pitted/ broken concrete floor in a batching area, lots of standing water around production areas, lack of entry control (open loading dock doors) and no drop down ceiling suggesting that the ceiling is not cleaned (above batching area), no environmental swabbing plus a few more.
Their 3rd party audit was performed by SGS and the rating is excellent. On the company's non-conformance correction form there is mention of just 2 major findings. I find it very hard to swallow that they really got an excellent rating, even if they did do the old month-long clean up and documentation check before audit. I have now heard some rumors that SGS is an 'easy' auditor.
Does anyone with a bit more experience in this have any information to add?
On a side note, I am told that often, as a new company looking at copackers, you are often stuck with a company that may not be the best as these are the only facilities that will have capacity/ need new business.
Your input on anything to do with this would be appreciated!