Inspection of your food facility will help identify and fix any quality or processing deviations found regarding food safety. Review of the processes and procedures will lead to higher quality products that are safe for Canadians. Internal/self-inspection is important in day-to-day operation to ensure all processes are flowing smoothly, however third-party inspections are important to get a fresh set of eyes and to obtain relevant accreditation.
Why are inspections conducted?
CFIA and/or Health Canada inspections are important to ensure all processes are in alignment with the regulations (such as the Safe Food for Canadian Regulations). The goal is always turning out safe and high-quality products for Canadians to purchase and enjoy.
What processes are checked during an inspection?
Common activities for foods are manufacturing, processing, treating, preserving, grading, packaging, labelling. CFIA will inspect your site based on the risk involved with the products you produce and the activities you undertake. For example: if you slaughter animals, you will likely have more frequent inspections.
What are the benefits of routine inspection?
Identifying risks and the hazards that may arise is crucial to food manufacturing. Audits are a great tool to identify and reduce these risks. Self-inspection should be built into your SOPs to ensure staff members internally self-reflect on their assigned tasks. Third-party inspections allow a fresh set of unbiased eyes to review your practices and policies. All three are very important to your business.
Some of the many benefits of Inspection are:
- Inspections help identify health risks for your consumers and employees. Pointing out process errors may be able to correct a future safety issue. A health risk or recall may be detrimental to your business’ public perception and marketability. Avoiding issues that may arise from a quality violation is reason enough to schedule an inspection.
- Inspections are a great learning tool. Any items noticed during the inspection will lead to facility and staff improvement. Constant and ongoing improvement is key to product quality and to your business. Any time there is room for learning opportunities, it can provide growth and skill development for your company.
- Inspections can keep your business open. High risk deviations that are found may lead to facility closure until the issue can be corrected. Minimizing these issues will mitigate potential reasons for closures. Preventing these types of issues of any size will reduce financial obligation to correct the issue, if it were to become a larger problem.
- Passing an important inspection is a great accomplishment! Practicing for governmental audits and inspections with an in-house or with a third-party review can help prepare your site and staff to ace an inspection in the future. Accreditation that results from some audits will help grow consumer trust and can even be advertised in some cases.
- Improving the preparedness and cleanliness of your site. Sometimes even preparing for an audit is reason enough to do a more thorough tidy of the facility. Impressing an inspector is important to a successful review. This is a clear reason to schedule an audit.
Running through and reviewing the quality processes and documentation for your site will always lead to company improvement. Being able to identify issues and correct them is a main pillar of food safety and quality. Inspections offer a thorough look into the operations of your company.
If you have any questions regarding food facilities, licensing/registration, and inspections/audits, please reach out to one of our specialists! We are always happy to help!