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Self-Diagnostic Tool: Qualified Food Plant Safety Individuals

October 1, 2015 - Kestrel Food Safety

Existing regulatory requirements, including FSMA, mandate that “qualified individuals” oversee all food safety aspects of food processing operations. The expectation is that a plant operator is designated and that qualified food safety operators are present during processing at all food processing and handling sites. In addition, the qualified individual must maintain the company’s GMP, HACCP, and food safe processing, and provide oversight of all activities and regulatory inspections.

Self-Diagnostic Assessment Tool

Kestrel’s self-diagnostic assessment tool is designed to help you better understand the role of the qualified individual.

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” to ensure that you are meeting requirements.

  1. Have you reviewed your food products and processes to determine the necessary qualifications within your organization to adequately comply with regulatory and certification requirements?
  2. Do you maintain a system to track organizational food safety qualifications for general employees and for food safety and quality lead positions/managers?
  3. Are specific job descriptions, specifications, or expectations developed and to outline food safety training, education, certification, and experience for all positions impacting food safety?
  4. Are the qualified operator and food safety lead positions defined and filled by qualified individuals?
  5. Have alternatives been determined and assigned to back up lead qualified individuals during their absence?
  6. Has the role of the qualified individual been determined for daily activities—from receipt of raw materials, through processing and holding, to final product release?
  7. Have provisions been made to ensure that qualified individuals are part of the approval process for all food-safe activities, including building, equipment, materials, products, vendors, customers, and specifications?
  8. Is a succession plan is in place for the ongoing development of site staff to ensure adequate resources over time?
  9. Are provisions developed to continuously track the qualifications of the qualified individual and other organizational resources?
  10. Do you have a training and certification process to assess qualified resources and implement periodic management review to ensure that qualified individual are engaged in your operation’s food safety management?

Get Ready

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

Submitted by: Bill Bremer


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