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3 Forms of Documentation to Have on Hand for Third-Party Audits

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Managing a food processing plant is no easy task. To achieve food safety, routine third-party audits are essential. So, how can food processing facility managers maintain a textbook, audit-ready environment? Even with regular facility maintenance and pest management measures, managers may still lose points unexpectedly in the pest control portion of their audit. With proper pest control documentation, any facility can make the grade.

To ace your next third-party audit, keep the following on file:

  • General Facility DocumentationFirst, let’s get specific about general documentation. Auditors need to see a written copy of your Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, which should include your facility’s risk assessment and food safety rules as they apply to pest management. A suitable copy will have been endorsed by necessary parties and updated within the past 12 months to include information on program changes and recent inspections. Managers will also need to provide proof of an annual facility assessment, which is conducted by a trained IPM professional and details an evaluation of the processing plant. A pro-tip from the pros? Be sure to keep these documents up to date—as your facility grows, so will the requirements of your IPM program.

  • Proof of Training and CertificationWhen it comes to training and certification, the proof is in the papers. Auditors will expect on-site proof that your pest management provider is properly handling and using pest management materials, like verification of yearly GMP training and a copy of the pest management company’s certificate of insurance and license. Proof of training and certification will show auditors that you’re partnering with a pest provider that can execute a quality pest control strategy.

  • Pesticide DocumentationNext, auditors will look for insights on your use of pesticides. Any pesticide usage and applications inside the facility should be kept on file—proper pesticide documentation should include Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and pesticide labels. The right pesticide documentation will show auditors that preserving a safe, secure food processing environment is your top priority.

Curious about the other forms of documentation? As with any exam, the best way to prepare is to study up. Download the full Documentation Checklist to help pass every third-party audit that comes your way.

Documentation can make or break your audit. Make sure there's proof that your pest management program is in tiptop shape. Download checklist.


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