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Episode #2: Understanding the Types of Suppliers

Episode #2: Understanding the Types of Suppliers

Supplier Approval Programs

Episode two of our Supplier Approval Program video series reviews basic classifications of suppliers and the challenges associated with assessing these different types of operations for potential food safety hazards as part of the supplier approval process.

The determination of food safety comes from understanding who made the material you are purchasing, and what processes they used to make it. The challenge in this process is that the ingredients which go into your finished product can change hands often, and sometimes without clear food safety information along the way.

holding a traceability scanning device and aiming it at a barcode in a cold storage facility.

Each step in the supply chain presents a chance to create a food safety hazard in the purchased ingredients or materials. Being aware of how many operations touch the material can help your food safety team understand the obvious, and not so obvious, risks considered in the supplier risk assessments.

Since each of the companies that interact with the materials before receipt in the facility poses a risk to food safety, it is required that the food safety team member responsible for collecting supplier documentation assess the food safety risks a supplier’s product may introduce into another operation.

In this episode, we explore different types of suppliers, including co-manufacturers, brokers, agents, and importers. Each type of supplier operates slightly differently, which will influence your supplier approval process. It is important to understand what information we need as part of the food safety assessment from your suppliers.

In our next episode of the Supplier Approval series, we’ll discuss Regulatory Requirements for Supplier Approval Programs.

To learn more, visit the free food safety training videos & resources section of our website.

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