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Food Safety Inspection Readiness: Self-Diagnostic Assessment Tool

August 13, 2015 - Kestrel Food Safety

Compliance to food safety regulations and industry certifications must consider readiness for audit or inspection at any time. GFSI emphasizes 24×7 readiness. A well-planned response should be addressed. Whether formal or informal, plans should provide for both expected and unknown aspects of an audit/inspection based on the preference of the auditor or regulator. With the potential for an unplanned audit/inspection, having a documented program and responsibilities is critical.

Self-Diagnostic Assessment Tool

Kestrel’s self-diagnostic assessment tool is designed to help you better understand your organization’s current state of planning for unplanned food safety audits/inspections.

To complete the assessment, review your facility and answer the questions below. We encourage you to then contact to Kestrel to analyze your responses, and to discuss how to change “No” responses into “Yes” and create the sustained level of plans required to meet and support legal and certification requirements.

  1. When developing your Food Safety Management System (FSMS), do you focus on the possibility of an unplanned audit/inspection?
  2. Do you have the most appropriate organizational structure (i.e., with qualified food plant operators) to minimize possible impacts from an unplanned audit or inspection?
  3. Are you taking advantage of controllable benefits within your FSMS to be prepared for a favorable unplanned audit outcome, including verification of regulated programs?
  4. Do you regularly review your FSMS to determine how well-planned your response to an unplanned audit/inspection will be conducted by your site food safety operator/staff?
  5. Do you correctly update all records, processes, roles, capabilities, and corrective actions to make sure you are meeting the minimum levels of compliance to laws and standards?
  6. Do you intentionally audit your FSMS programs to meet unplanned audits/inspections as part of your internal audit process, systems reviews, and management reviews? Do these include all regulatory compliance requirements?
  7. If you import or export, have you ensured that your programs meet both legal and certification requirements for the products, supply chain, and suppliers that are included in these processes?
  8. When you build, modify, or change food sites, facilities, and equipment do you conduct hazard analysis and maintain “Management of Change” protocols for your site’s food risks and needs?
  9. Do you properly maintain all food product specifications and preventive controls as documented, approved, and up-to-date for all food risks and situations?
  10. Do you properly script the activities that may be part of an unplanned audit/inspection with qualified personnel assigned as the plant operator, alternates, and proper management staff?

Get Inspection-Ready

Kestrel can provide recommendations to help you improve your FSMS. Led by a team of senior consultants averaging over 25 years of hands-on food safety experience, our industry experts offer guidance in evaluating and helping companies fulfill food safety certification requirements.

Get your company audit and inspection-ready. Contact Kestrel at or 847-533-5948.

Submitted by: Bill Bremer

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