When performing a food safety audit, we identify potentially critical areas of the operation and assist the business and the operator in improving their food safety systems in order to raise the overall quality of their processes.
Let's Get Serious about Internal Audits
By John G. Surak, Ph.D., and Richard F. Stier
One of the authors was contacted by a colleague who stated that a client had an audit finding that seemed to be beyond the scope of the audit. This finding specifically stated that the internal audit program was not based on ISO 19011. And this was not an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 22000, Food Safety System Certification 22000 or Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) audit. The response from the processor was "What? Another ISO standard, and this one is on auditing."
This evolved into a lengthy discussion that posed a number of questions, such as "When did certification bodies (or audit firms) start mandating the use of ISO 19011 for internal audits?" Especially since ISO standards 9001, 14001 and 22000 are not nearly as popular or utilized in the United States' food supply chain as they are in Europe's or Asia's. A quick check of a number of standards revealed one interesting note. Clause 8.2.2 (internal audit) in ISO 9001:2008 has a note attached to the requirements, stating, "See ISO 19011 for guidance." But this raises an additional question. There is no such notation in the ISO 22000:2005 standard, and notes within auditable portions of an ISO standard are not requirements, they are guidance. However, ISO 19011 is referenced in the bibliographic section of ISO 22000, so what does this standard entail?