Food Safety Net Services – Certification & Audit (FSNS C&A) reinforced its industry position as an all-in-one food quality/food safety auditing and certifying third party by adding safe quality food (SQF) capabilities to its comprehensive verification credentials.
The newly-gained SQF audit and certification capabilities supplement a battery of auditing services already offered to food producers by FSNS C&A. SQF complements the British Retail Consortium (BRC) to allow FSNS C&A to provide two discrete food safety and quality schemes, both supported by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
“We added the SQF scheme both to meet consumer needs for food quality and safety assurance as well as to expand the GFSI schemes our company offers,” said Lori Ernst, vice president of audit services at FSNS C&A. “In addition to SQF, FSNS C&A also offers BRC food and BRC storage and distribution audit services.”
Examples of other audits offered by FSNS C&A include GMP/Food Safety, animal welfare for all species, sanitation, warehouse, packaging and customer-specific audits and addendums.
Ernst said third-party audits conducted by verification bodies like FSNS C&A benefit food producers because they challenge the thought process used by the production facility. Those challenges help producers refine their food safety and food quality practices to excel in meeting consumer demands for wholesome food. “Our highly qualified auditors challenge programs that make up the process to verify that they are in place to address potential food safety or food quality issues that might arise in operations on a day-to-day basis,” Ernst said. “They also challenge programs to verify they are established and implemented to address those potential issues.”
Audit services provide other benefits to food producers, including better commercial standing with downstream retailers and foodservice operators. For example, audits for either the SQF or the BRC schemes can lead to GFSI-recognized certification that international, national and regional retailers, foodservice providers and suppliers accept as proof of production integrity.
“Many of our clients’ customers require specific audits including GFSI-recognized schemes prior to purchasing product,” Ernst said. “GFSI audits, including SQF and BRC, are higher level appraisals of a company’s operations, policies and procedures that give customers greater confidence in the products purchased.”
Because auditing authorities like FSNS C&A verify without conflict of interest, they also assure buyers as well as consumers of the findings’ integrity. That full impartiality during an audit translates into valuable assurance to the end users that benefits all segments of the food chain from producer to consumer.
“FSNS C&A has an aggressive training and calibration program for auditors,” Ernst said. “Only highly qualified auditors perform audits on our behalf. Additionally, each audit undergoes a technical review regardless if it was performed under the GFSI schemes of SQF and BRC or if was performed under customer-specified requirements.”
For more information, visit http://www.fsnsaudit.com.