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Any advice for first SQF audit


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maylao123

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 05:54 AM

It’s my first SQF audit as SQF practitioner and has been 3 month since I started this new job in a meat company which is also new category and super challenging to me as well. The previous SQF practitioner really messed up and put the company into surveillance audit. I really appreciate any advice from the expert.



SQFconsultant

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 07:48 AM

When is the audit?
Habe you had an outside consultant conduct a review?


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Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant - Pre & Post SQF-GAP Audits - Consultant Training
Visit us @ http://www.GlennOster.com  or call us @ 772.646.4115 US-EST 8am-4pm Anyday except Thursday
 
 

sqflady

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 01:36 PM

I would review the previous NCs and make sure they have all been addressed.  Were the NCs primarily related to policies and procedures or deficiencies in the plant itself?  If you have your policies and procedures in tip top shape, that helps a lot.  My goal is always to have no NCs related to documentation.



majoy

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 05:16 PM

have all your documentations/ records accessible and easily retrievable. Organize your meeting area - first impression lasts.

 

If the auditor feels like you're all over the place, then it would give an impression that you don't know your program or not prepared at all (if this is announced audit).

 

Tell everyone to shut their mouth and only answer what is asked. No need to voluntarily give information to the auditor, if the auditor didn't asks for it, do not offer it.


"Whatever you do, do it well..." - Walt Disney


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FurFarmandFork

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 05:18 PM

If you can, share the non-conformances from the last audit (sensitive details omitted), and we can help you check for gaps.


Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

Subscribe to the blog at furfarmandfork.com for food safety research, insights, and analysis.

SQFconsultant

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 05:28 PM

have all your documentations/ records accessible and easily retrievable. Organize your meeting area - first impression lasts.

 

If the auditor feels like you're all over the place, then it would give an impression that you don't know your program or not prepared at all (if this is announced audit).

 

Tell everyone to shut their mouth and only answer what is asked. No need to voluntarily give information to the auditor, if the auditor didn't asks for it, do not offer it.

 

"Tell everyone to shut their mouth and only answer what is asked. No need to voluntarily give information to the auditor, if the auditor didn't asks for it, do not offer it."

 

That sums it up nicely!!!!


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant - Pre & Post SQF-GAP Audits - Consultant Training
Visit us @ http://www.GlennOster.com  or call us @ 772.646.4115 US-EST 8am-4pm Anyday except Thursday
 
 

QAGB

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 05:38 PM

Also - if you don't have a direct answer for something, try using other resources you have available to answer the question. For example, don't try to answer questions about preventive maintenance if the maintenance department does this and can answer fully. 

 

It doesn't look great if you try to answer something incorrectly or partially - but could have used your resources to get a better answer. Just say "let me call in our maintenance lead to discuss this with you".

 

Obviously if you have no other recourse, you do what you have to. Just be sure you explore the best options first.



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Posted 13 November 2019 - 06:08 PM

BREATHE...be patient with yourself and your auditor


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majoy

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 06:25 PM

BREATHE...be patient with yourself and your auditor

 

 

THIS! It took every ounce of me not to roll my eyes in front of my auditor from the last audit. :rolleyes:


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Fred73

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 08:57 PM

Be sure you have corrected all the NCR's from previous audit, then get the SQF check list (excel file) from the sqfi webpage that fits your food sector category and go trough each clause. 
 
Read and understand the requirements, read what is required and what the auditor will be looking for, it is explained in the guidance documents provided by SQFI webpage.
For the day of the audit try to get all management to join the start-meeting to show management commitment, including supporting teams like inventory control, maintenance, refrigeration, pest control, etc, etc.
If you have time and resources get a consultant to help you to review the program, answer all your questions and get your team better prepare for the audit.


RoundEggs

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 09:09 PM

have all your documentations/ records accessible and easily retrievable. Organize your meeting area - first impression lasts.

 

If the auditor feels like you're all over the place, then it would give an impression that you don't know your program or not prepared at all (if this is announced audit).

 

Tell everyone to shut their mouth and only answer what is asked. No need to voluntarily give information to the auditor, if the auditor didn't asks for it, do not offer it.

 

Ha ha ! I love that last line of advice  :thumbup:



CMHeywood

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 03:09 PM

Have copies of all your documents in 3-ring binders so you can give them to the auditor all at once.  The auditor will get impatient if you have to go hunting for a copy of a document that he wants to review.

 

Make sure you have conducted internal audits of your food safety system.

 

Make sure you have at least three months of records.

 

Make sure your management review is up to date.

 

Tell people that if the auditor asks a question, they can ask for clarification on what the auditor wants to see.  When they show the auditor something, they can ask if that is what the auditor wants to see.  Don't let a misunderstanding of the auditor's question lead to a nonconformance.

 

Everyone needs to be available for the auditor to ask questions.  Don't let management assume they can dump the auditor on you and expect you to handle the entire audit.  The auditor wants to see that everyone is both committed to and involved in food safety.

 

Per Majoy, "Tell everyone to shut their mouth and only answer what is asked. No need to voluntarily give information to the auditor, if the auditor didn't asks for it, do not offer it."  Providing unrequested information wastes the auditor's time.



Jeffrey Ort

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 06:17 PM

Dont be nervous, listen to the question being asked, and answer as concise as possible. If you are not sure, ask what part of the code he is refering to, and have the code open as you go through the process. Make sure anyone you may have participate in the audit, is aware of these same things.

Do not be afraid to ask a question to be able to answer more accurately, and enable conversation to discuss how you are meeting the code, and understand you may have to agree to disagree at or about some points.

You both have a job to do and its important to remember that he is only doing his job as well.

 

Best of luck!!



maylao123

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 02:13 AM

Thank you so much everyone for your good advices. Finally we passed out SQF audit with 95 scores. The forum really helped me a lot.



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