Food Audits and Inspections

Summary

Commentators, regulators and consumer groups are agreed that transparency within food supply chains provides consumers with necessary assurance about the safety, quality and provenance of their food.

The recent Select Committee raised a concern at the lack of joined up intelligence and knowledge sharing across the food industry amongst manufacturers, regulators and retailers.

After reviewing the processes of our customers and our internal practices, we have decided to start this process and share all the Audit and Inspection outcomes from our customers, standard owners and regulatory bodies.

We will be the first in the industry to do this and we hope this bold step will allow us to work with regulators, standard owners and customers to develop a system for all to use.

 

How Audits and Inspections Work

Audits and Inspections are carried out by a number of organisations, they are all seeking to make sure that the way we operate meets the requirements of their organisation. Some of these are common, but there are differences and some instances they will be seeking to check on specifics unique to their organisation. 

The FSA and Local Authorities provide regulation at the national and local level. Their focus is to make sure that we comply with the law.  It is our legal responsibility to produce safe food. We are audited by standard bodies such as BRC Global Standards, Red Tractor and the Soil Association. They check that we meet the requirements of their schemes. In addition, our customers carry out audits and inspections to make sure that we are meeting their requirements which may in some cases go beyond those of the standard bodies.  Each of these bodies will look at similar areas of activity and control within our operations, but from a different perspective and focus.

This means that the audits and inspections used to monitor our sites cover similar areas, but all focus on their own particular area of interest. Common to all are that the audits and inspections of our premises and operations are carried out by trained and competent 3rd party auditors.

These auditors all check how well our operations conform to both their own organisations specified operational standards and the requirements of the law. Any areas that need addressing are called non-conformances, which are graded. There is not one uniform grading system. 

After an audit of our premises and discussion with the auditors we undertake remedial actions to address the non- conformances to ensure any areas of concern are addressed. This can result in: retraining people to implement systems correctly, reviewing and changing our systems to make them more robust or making repairs to buildings or fabric. As you will appreciate if building or other work is needed this make take several months to complete.

Most auditing bodies also grade their audits to give an overall understanding of the robustness of the site’s people, premises, process and procedures. These are based on the number and type of non-conformance, but there is no uniform way of doing this. The grades, audit score and consequences of those grades vary from organisation to organisation.

The auditing of the performance of our people, premises and processes; the raising of non-conformances and their close out is all part of the normal monitoring and continuous improvement process in the food industry.

 

Audit Results in 2017

Official Control – FSA Audits – These are the audits that check whether we are compliant with the law.

Site Latest FSA Grade

Coupar Angus

Generally Satisfactory

Flixton

Good

Llangefni

Good

Sandycroft

Good

Scunthorpe

Good

Site C

Good

Site D

Good

Site E

Generally Satisfactory

Witham

Good

Willand

Good

 

FSA Compliance rating

Description

Tolerance for audit outcome

Good

No issues of significance for public health, animal health or animal welfare during the entire audit period.

No majors or critical on day of audit or during audit period.

Generally Satisfactory

No issues of significance for public health, animal health or animal welfare identified on the day of the audit. Any non-compliances identified during the audit period corrected promptly.

No more than 2 majors during audit or during audit period rectified promptly

 

No critical during audit period.

Improvement necessary

Major non-compliances identified at audit and/or non-compliances during the audit period not always responded to and corrected promptly.

3-6 majors during audit or during audit period

 

No critical during audit period

Urgent Improvement necessary

Multiple major non-compliances or critical non-compliance identified during audit visit or interim audit period. Official intervention required to ensure public health safeguards.

1 critical or

 

>6 majors during audit or during audit period

BRC Global Standards Audits – the most widely used audit for food safety and quality management systems

Site

Latest BRC Grade

Coupar Angus

A+

Flixton

A+

Llangefni

AA

Sandycroft

A+

Scunthorpe

A+

Site C

A+

Site D

A

Site E

A

Witham

A+

Willand

A

Basildon

AA+

 

BRC Grading System

Announced

Unannounced

Non-Conformances

AA

AA+

5 or less minors

A

A+

5 - 10 minors

B

B+

11 - 16 minors
1 major and 10 or less minor

C

C+

17 - 24 minor
1 major and 11 - 16 minor
2 major and 10 or less minor

D

D+

25 - 30 minor
1 major and 17 - 24 minor
2 major and 11 - 16 minor

Uncertified

Uncertified

1 or more critical
31 or more minor
1 major and 25 or more minor
2 major and 17 or more minor
3 or more major


Recent Audit and Inspection History – December 2017

In December we had 24 audits/inspections in our UK Poultry sites, 20 were unannounced, 4 announced.

Below we have listed the number of audits/inspections by site and the number of non-conformances raised and still open at 31st January 2018. The non-conformances raised are detailed below graded into three areas; where there was actual food safety or legality issues, where our system or process is not good enough and there could be a risk and finally where we could do things more effectively.

Site

Audits and Inspections

Food Safety or Legal Issue

System or process inadequate

System or process could be improved

 

 

Raised

Raised

Still Open

Raised

Still Open

Basildon

0

0

0

0

0

0

Coupar Angus

4

0

0

0

0

0

Flixton

6

0

7

0

11

1

Llangefni

2

0

0

0

0

0

Sandycroft

3

0

0

0

0

0

Scunthorpe

3

0

0

0

7

1

Site C

0

0

0

0

0

0

Site D

3

0

2

0

16

0

Site E

1

0

4

0

14

0

Witham

1

0

0

0

0

0

Willand

1

0

0

0

0

0

Total

24

0

13

0

49

2

  • Non-conformances are closed out (resolved) once remedial action has been put in place to address the risk or issue identified. Often short-term action on the day, solves the issue quickly, but we only consider it fully completed once we have identified and addressed the root cause of the issue.
  • Average number of non-conformances raised by site during an audit/inspection 2.6
  • Average number of non-conformances still open 0.008 per audit, per site.

 

Average number of non-conformances per audit

Open per audit per site

July-November 2017 average

3.6

0.02

December 2017

2.6

0.008

 

2SFG produces safe food every day. We always seek to operate in a way that fully meets the expectations of our customers and regulators whilst continuously improving our operation. These audits/inspections, the insight they give us and the remedial action taken is an important part in the continuous improvement cycle.

We have modified our approach to giving this information following feedback we received.

We are keen to develop this part or our website to make sure that we are delivering information in a way that all stakeholders find useful, so we would welcome views on this approach. Please send comments to transparency@2sfg.com.

We will collate the views we receive to help inform our own reporting but also to help inform any wider initiative.  We will continue to develop this site using our UK Poultry sites but it is our intention to provide this information for all the 2SFG sites once we have found a method that meets all our stakeholder needs.