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Favorite Auditing Companies - SQF


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SQFconsultant

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 04:34 PM

Good morning, I am thinking about getting back into being an SQF Auditor and was seeking feedback on which Certifying bodies you folks liked the most. I was one of the first SQF Auditor's in the US and when I left auditing to change hats to SQF Consulting I had 28 food sector categories. Pretty sure the only thing I need to do is re-up the fee with SQFI, I will be calling them today. Thanks all, Glenn 

 

 


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant Retainer Subscriptions - 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
 
 

Fred73

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 04:49 PM

Good morning Glenn, during last year SQF conference there was a clear effort to get more people certified as auditor, there is still an urgent need of auditors in food safety standards, I believe SQF is the leading one in US.

I have worked with TUV, NSF and Bureau Veritas during the last 3 years and it was a very good experience (NSF send us always a little too technical auditors but it's just my opinion).

I got recertified as a consultant (SQFI), for second year, and yes it is a little expensive fee. 

 

Good luck!



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olenazh

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 05:33 PM

I've had experienced NSF audit just ones, and I didn't like the auditor: too bossy and digging too deep, but that could be only my personal opinion. However, I've been with SGS for 10 years, and all auditors were correct, polite, knowledgeable and reasonable.



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SQFconsultant

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 01:44 PM

Good morning Glenn, during last year SQF conference there was a clear effort to get more people certified as auditor, there is still an urgent need of auditors in food safety standards, I believe SQF is the leading one in US.

I have worked with TUV, NSF and Bureau Veritas during the last 3 years and it was a very good experience (NSF send us always a little too technical auditors but it's just my opinion).

I got recertified as a consultant (SQFI), for second year, and yes it is a little expensive fee. 

 

Good luck!

Hi Fred, Thank you for your feedback.

 

Yes, there is a shortage of good SQF Auditors in the field, events this year have in many ways lessened the pool as incomes were severely restricted (we understand that part completely.)

 

In years past I've also done work for TUV, SGS an SSC.  They all have there ups and downs.

 

I have found NSF to be problematic in that while I really enjoyed a training session with them that was held at Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville, AR I found their Auditors to be over the top stringent and subject to making miss-calls or making stuff up and then doubling down on the make up resulting in challenges during audits, more so than their should be.

 

I did contact SQFI and they indicated due to time-lag that I would need to re-apply for all food sector categories, I am contemplating that to see if it actually makes sense financially to do. Business as a consultant is down right now due to events this year, but I have to say that being self-employed does have major advantages that I may not want to forego, so I may add Auditing and stay independent.

 

Glad to see you are  a fellow SQF Cosultant and thank you again.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant Retainer Subscriptions - 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
 
 

SQFconsultant

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 01:48 PM

I've had experienced NSF audit just ones, and I didn't like the auditor: too bossy and digging too deep, but that could be only my personal opinion. However, I've been with SGS for 10 years, and all auditors were correct, polite, knowledgeable and reasonable.

 

Thank you for the information.

 

I was with SGS first as an independent 3rd party auditor for about 2 years and then switched over to being to being full time employed. They certainly kept me busy and on the road and in the air about 90% of the time, as my wife would say in those years - I see my husband on most weekends!

 

From feedback here and off-line I'm getting that NSF is problematic.

 

I will be checking out BV and another one for contact work in the near future.

 

Thank you again.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant Retainer Subscriptions - 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
 
 

olenazh

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 01:53 PM

Thank you for the information.

 

I was with SGS first as an independent 3rd party auditor for about 2 years and then switched over to being to being full time employed. They certainly kept me busy and on the road and in the air about 90% of the time, as my wife would say in those years - I see my husband on most weekends!

 

From feedback here and off-line I'm getting that NSF is problematic.

 

I will be checking out BV and another one for contact work in the near future.

 

Thank you again.

Hey, that's exactly what one of SGS auditors mentioned: he was about to marry, but due to frequent audits he was seeing his fiancée at the airport:) 



SQFconsultant

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 02:41 PM

Hey, that's exactly what one of SGS auditors mentioned: he was about to marry, but due to frequent audits he was seeing his fiancée at the airport:) 

 

Yes, that is about right.

 

I would fly out on a Sunday evening or early Monday morning and come back late Friday night, Saturday was laundry and prep day for going back out again and then some short R&R and getting ready to roll again.

 

Believe it or not, this was harder than the 5 years I spent as a hotel auditor - that was a dream job compared to working with SGS.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant Retainer Subscriptions - 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
 
 

dfreund

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Posted 03 December 2020 - 09:33 PM

Not a lot of experience but I had a GMP audit by Silliker that was a bit unreasonable( I think the auditor was having a bad day), but it kicked us into high gear.  I have had 3 SQF audits by Eagle Certifications and their entire process is user friendly and good people there.

.Good luck Sir



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Posted 03 December 2020 - 11:10 PM

Not a lot of experience but I had a GMP audit by Silliker that was a bit unreasonable( I think the auditor was having a bad day), but it kicked us into high gear.  I have had 3 SQF audits by Eagle Certifications and their entire process is user friendly and good people there.

.Good luck Sir

 

Unreasonable in what way ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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Posted 04 December 2020 - 02:54 PM

I second Eagle. I loved working with them as they were reasonable and friendly. Much more likely to coach and guide after the audit to help us out as we were getting started in SQF. That is probably auditor dependent but it definitely appreciated. Made me much more likely to call Eagle for other companies as I've moved around. 

 

veruca



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Posted 04 December 2020 - 04:04 PM

I second Eagle. I loved working with them as they were reasonable and friendly. Much more likely to coach and guide after the audit to help us out as we were getting started in SQF. That is probably auditor dependent but it definitely appreciated. Made me much more likely to call Eagle for other companies as I've moved around. 

 

veruca

 

I almost seconded Eagle yesterday for this exact same reason.  They're the only CB I've worked with, but they're great.  They were very patient with my constant questions about the certification process last year.  We just recertified with them.



kfromNE

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Posted 09 December 2020 - 01:20 PM

We use Eurofins. I've never had a problem with them.



dfreund

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Posted 09 December 2020 - 07:22 PM

Charles,

The unreasonableness I perceive (and remember) from our GMP audit was related in large part to an older building and absolute statements.  One issue in specific, we have wood floors in a dry facility and all we were told about it was "This will never make it".  We investigated replacement of the floors and coatings that were not cost effective.  Under the tutelage of an experienced consultant, we were able to implement cleaning, maintenance, inspection and testing protocols. There were other less unreasonable and even legitimate corrections that were pointed out. Since then we have been able to maintain safety AND achieve certification.

 

Absolute statements like that are not conducive to encouraging newly implemented FSQM systems to pursue continuous improvement cycles. If we were not committed enough to find a way to make it work we would have stopped in our tracks and missed out on the last 4 years of continuous improvements.

 

On one hand, we needed to know where the gaps were, but on the other hand a push to improve is better than NEVER going to make it.



Charles.C

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Posted 10 December 2020 - 03:46 AM

Charles,

The unreasonableness I perceive (and remember) from our GMP audit was related in large part to an older building and absolute statements.  One issue in specific, we have wood floors in a dry facility and all we were told about it was "This will never make it".  We investigated replacement of the floors and coatings that were not cost effective.  Under the tutelage of an experienced consultant, we were able to implement cleaning, maintenance, inspection and testing protocols. There were other less unreasonable and even legitimate corrections that were pointed out. Since then we have been able to maintain safety AND achieve certification.

 

Absolute statements like that are not conducive to encouraging newly implemented FSQM systems to pursue continuous improvement cycles. If we were not committed enough to find a way to make it work we would have stopped in our tracks and missed out on the last 4 years of continuous improvements.

 

On one hand, we needed to know where the gaps were, but on the other hand a push to improve is better than NEVER going to make it.

 

Hi dfreund,

 

Thks for clarification. It's certainly a reality that not all auditors are created "equal". :smile:

 

In the (US) Literature the acceptability of "wood"  for floors in Food Manufacturing facilities seems contentious, eg  some Local Regulatory bodies are totally negative, others may offer flexibility such as -.

The type of flooring material varies with different processing areas and the amount and type of foot traffic. Food processing areas require flooring which can be readily cleaned and in good repair. Materials such as well-sealed hardwood may be suitable for some areas of a bakery where dry clean-up methods are appropriate.

Food processing areas that require flood-type cleaning (such as a fish plant), need well-sealed concrete floors with cove base and adequate drains. Heavy use areas with large, moveable equipment require more durable flooring.

Unfinished wood floors are NOT suitable in any plant areas.

In general, vinyl linoleum or tile floor covering may be satisfactory for very small operations where vacuuming and wet mopping provide sufficient clean up. Larger operations, particularly those processes that are "wet" in nature (e.g., fish, fruit, vegetables, beverages, tofu) require an easily drained, well-sealed concrete or tile floor.

(rather surprised no mention of epoxy etc)

 

I would certainly anticipate (require?) that an auditor should have acquired a working knowledge of the acceptability of flooring material in respect to relevant Standard, Product, Process, Environment etc. Just as 2 examples, here is  BRC  -

 

Floors
The floors in areas handling raw materials and preparing, processing, packing or storing product must be
kept in a sound condition and be easy to clean and, where necessary, to disinfect. Floors must be
constructed of materials that are impervious, hard-wearing, repairable and resistant to chemical attack so
that they can withstand appropriate cleaning procedures.

 

.

and SQF -

 

11.2.2.1  Floors shall be constructed of smooth, dense impact resistant material that can be effectively graded, drained, impervious to liquid and easily cleaned

.

Both the above seem to exclude untreated wood although certain wood species might perhaps pass ?

 

I certainly agree that the Inspector should minimally have pointed out why it could not pass against the Standard. This was apparently not done.

 

Most factories IMEX would have (immediately) challenged such a deficiency ?.

 

I'm curious as to the means whereby acceptance was ultimately achieved ?.

 

PS - there is a vaguely floor-analogous case here -

 

https://www.ifsqn.co...ccp/#entry58381


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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