Third-Party Food Safety Audits and How to Set Up Your Business for Success

Apr 30, 2020

A track record of audit-ready partner success.


Whether you are a food processor, warehouse, distributor or retailer, having a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification is an essential part of doing business across today’s food chain.

Above and beyond regulatory compliance, food businesses at every level want confidence in knowing their partners have a comprehensive and well-managed food safety plan. Particularly with advancements around traceback and pathogen detection, as well as education and awareness among consumers.

Third-party GFSI audits, including the Safe Quality Food (SQF) and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Food Standard, are frequently used to evaluate potential new suppliers and routinely assess current partners. The results and ratings of these audits can have an impact on key decisions about who businesses partner with, which is why it is critically important to have the trained experts familiar with the most recent standards.

These audits take a detailed, holistic approach to evaluate a food safety management system. This includes components such as program design, compliance, documentation, training, and an integrated action plan tool. Direct observations by the auditor regarding the implementation of the food safety system is also an important aspect.

As a leading food safety, sanitation and chemical company, this is a priority for our team at PSSI. Third-party audit management is one of the many value-added services included as part of our program to ensure our partners are always audit-ready and positioned for success.

We have our own dedicated Food Safety Department which includes our Field Audit & Support Team (F.A.S.T) comprised of highly educated and expertly trained regulatory and technical experts, including microbiologists, food safety specialists, regulatory compliance experts, and even certified GFSI practitioners. This year, the team supported 366 GFSI audits within our customers facilities reporting an incredible 99.7 percent pass rate of the audits.

Our company achieves this level of success by developing and managing customized Food Safety and Sanitation Plans that align with the most up to date GFSI standards across the following key areas:

Food Safety Plan Development
PSSI manages the development, maintenance, and implementation of prerequisite programs associated with the sanitation process, including cleaning procedures that are plant, area and equipment specific for each facility.

Chemical Handling and Storage
PSSI’s Food Safety and in-house chemical team, PSSI Chemical Innovations (PCI), work together to develop specific chemical handling, storage and usage. PCI is one of the only chemical partners to have its own SQF Quality Certification confirming its compliancy in the third-party system with no need for additional audits or inspections.

PSSI uses its Real-Time Performance Metrics Platform to manage data collection, storage, analytics and reporting for our customers. This includes real-time alerts, notifications, tasks for corrective action. This platform also enables fast and easy access to detailed reporting like titration records or other information that an auditor may request.

Safety is our foundational value at PSSI. We have a dedicated training team that makes sure every employee receives the proper training and support to safely and effectively execute their job on a daily basis.

Food Defense and Security
PSSI’s food safety team and chemical experts work together to ensure chemical storage is designed properly and regularly locked and secured.

Micro Management
PSSI’s dedicated Food Safety team continually monitors microbial requirements to maintaining process control with the most up-to-date microbial requirements.

Internal Auditing
PSSI regularly conducts its own internal Food Safety Assessments which incorporates GFSI requirements to ensure all areas are addressed and being properly managed.

When it comes to GFSI standards, there are essential needs but not necessarily one area that carries more weight. It is a complete, holistic evaluation of how these various areas work together to achieve the highest level of food safety protection. Therefore, it is important to have centralized management.

Above and beyond a rating, it is also about corrective action plans and how you plan to fix deficiencies in a timely manner. A misstep in just one small area could put your business at risk for not passing or losing a third-party GFSI certification.

When you partner with PSSI, you can rest assured your business will always be ‘audit-ready’ with an impressive track record to back it up. Above and beyond audits, we also work hard to make food safety a key differentiator for your business and something you are proud to promote.


PSSI Food Guardian eNewsletter