We’re all getting used to doing more tasks remotely lately – and your food safety audits may be heading in that direction if you aren’t already conducting them remotely. These audits tend to be conducted either via cameras installed onsite or via a handheld camera that employee uses to do a walk-through of your facility. Food Quality & Safety advises that you conduct employee training on how to present your facility professionally via video, and also manage the related risks carefully – particularly when it comes to data security and keeping sensitive business information safe.
Amid the spread of COVID-19, there have been indirect impacts to food suppliers. Specifically, the FDA is temporarily suspending routine surveillance inspections of food manufacturers and handlers. According to a report in The Counter, “while FDA inspections may make up a relatively small component of the broader food safety ecosystem, the agency’s decision represents a fresh blow to an interconnected system of food safety checks that is already under immense pressure. A safe food supply depends on well-trained workers, internal and third-party audits, and domestic inspections.” When one area of the food supply chain is weakened, foodservice businesses need to be able to understand where gaps exist and take steps to fill them where possible.