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Is an USDA Inspector allowed to take photos of our HACCP book?

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 07:49 PM

I have a new USDA Inspector after the old one retired. I just walked by the office and saw the inspector taking a photo of my Flow Diagram in the HACCP book with a cell phone. Is this allowed?


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Posted 04 March 2020 - 05:54 PM

Does your visitor policy / procedure address taking picture when in your facility? If not, it should! Visitor's recording devices are prohibited in our facility without prior written consent. All visitors are directed to read our policy which includes GMPs, non-disclosure, illness policy, taking images etc and the sign-in sheet states that by signing in visitors agree to all policy and procedures. If you have it in your policy / procedure and he didn't get permission I'd drop the hammer on him if for no other reason than to exemplify your adherence to your own visitor policy. If he had permission I would ask why he needed photo evidence of documents beyond his review during the audit? If your company doesn't mind it must not be a big issue :rolleyes:

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 09:11 PM

If it's in your policies that photography is not allowed or restricted, the inspector should abide by those policies unless he or she has an official regulatory-related reason for the photography. Sometimes things can get a bit sticky with USDA inspectors and  depending on how your policies are written they are not necessarily classified as a visitor, so photography should be outlined in both your GMPs and visitor/contractor policies.  I would definitely address it right away with the inspector - be polite but firm. 

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