If you are a rancher, farmer or packinghouse manager in California seeking food safety certification, it’s essential to find an auditing agency that fits your needs. As a first time pursuit into the food safety auditing world, it’s hard to fully understand what you should be aware of. Here are some recommended qualities to look for in a food safety certification company:
Customer Service/Ease of certification
Customer service should be a top priority. There are many auditing agencies to choose from who perform similar/same audits, but how they provide their service is what makes them all different. Do they provide you with the necessary tools and resources needed to properly implement your food safety plan on site? Your auditing agency should be able to provide you with checklists and helpful guides on how to get started, which is essential when preparing for your first audit- you shouldn’t be left in the dark. Is the agency easy to get a hold of to any questions that you may have? It’s not uncommon to find yourself confused and frustrated when tackling food safety, make sure your agency can quickly answer any/all your questions to help you stay on track.
Initially, you’ll want to ensure that your chosen agency can meet your deadlines. You may find yourself with plenty of time to implement your food safety plan or you might need it expedited. Whatever your needs are, you’ll want to make sure that your agency has enough staff and auditors to work within your timeframe. In addition, once you receive a food safety certificate verifying compliance, you’re given an expiration date of when your certification ends (usually a year). By the time your expiration date approaches the following year, you’ll want to make sure that your agency is ready to issue a new certificate to you. It’s important that your agency is not only meeting your initial deadline but your annual deadlines as well.
Lastly, competitive pricing should be a concern. It’s a good rule of thumb to contact at least two or three agencies to grasp an understanding of the average auditing rates. Of course, as recommended above, customer service should be a top priority. It’s important to weigh all of your options and our recommended qualities above before making a decision. Food safety auditing services is an expense that we recommend spending a little extra on if it translates into excellent customer service.
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