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Webinar Summary – Government Food Safety Inspections

Webinar Summary – Government Food Safety Inspections

View Kellerman Consulting’s one hour “What to Expect When you are Inspected” webinar.  Brian Kellerman, Co-founder & Chief Food Safety & Quality Officer at Kellerman Consulting will cover: 

  • How to prepare personnel for food safety inspections
  • What regulators are looking for  
  • What to do when findings are made
Government food safety inspectors

Basis for Government Food Safety Inspections

  • Laws are the source of timeframes and reports required of inspectors of food facilities – these are both federal and state laws
  • Laws Governing Inspectors Actions:
    • Food Drug & Cosmetic Act
    • Food Safety Modernization Act (FDA)
    • Meat Inspection Act (FSIS)
    • Poultry Products Inspections Act (FSIS)

Reasons for Food Safety Inspections

  • Routine Inspection
  • These Inspections are not planned, but they must occur within the legal time frame for regulators.
  • Targeted Inspection
  • Events/ Products that violate regulations
  • Events/ Products suspected of fraud or consumer harm
  • Response to Food Safety Tips (Investigation)

What Inspectors are Looking for

  • Documentation and actions that matches what the business is permitted and registered to do
  • Indications of illegal acts
  • Indications of unsafe conditions
  • Indications of fraud
  • Any issues that may require communication with other regulatory entities (worker safety, forced work conditions, financial, etc.)

Required Documents for Inspection

  • Written statement or notice of inspection
  • Inspectors must identify themselves upon arriving
  • Inspectors must provide a reason for inspection
  • Written statement of findings or violations (occurs at the end or after inspection)
  • Written communications for follow up actions (occurs after inspection)

Interacting with the Food Safety Regulatory Inspector

  • Inspectors must identify themselves upon arriving and provide a reason for inspection
  • Inspections are allowed to last for whatever length of time the agency with jurisdiction feels it needs to conduct complete inspection
  • Inspectors may ask to speak with individuals, or allow the organization to designate someone to speak with the inspector
  • Train employees to remain calm with inspectors
  • Answer only questions asked

What to do When Food Safety Findings are Made

Responding to food safety findings (Noncompliance Record (NRs), 483s, state level findings)

All responses should be in writing and include:

  • A brief explanation of the situation
  • Corrections made during inspections (if any)
  • Corrective Actions (new forms, new programs, scheduled actions)
  • Preventive Actions (new forms, new programs, scheduled actions)

Responding to Government Food Safety Warning Letters

  • Very serious
  • May lead to legal action if not addressed
  • This may require involvement from a lawyer

For a detailed review of how to respond to 483 forms and Warning letters, view our blog post. 

Ending Regulatory Findings

  • Agency will acknowledge receipt of responses
  • Agency will not provide guidance or assessment of response
  • Agency will notify if follow up action is required
  • Agency will expect to see evidence of responses in follow up inspections

Questions about Food Safety Consulting Costs, Timelines, Requirements?

Contact us for a free consultation.