Suspension of properly certified food companies
The food company is properly certified for BRC Food, IFS Food or FSSC22000 and the company also adheres to the incident reporting requirements:
When a food safety incident occurs, the certifying body will be notified within a span of three working days. The notification of the incident shall be sent to the email address of the certifying body and to the lead auditor (via CC) The information below should be included in the email.
When is an incident defined as an incident?
- When the food safety authority imposes a sanction (fine report).
- All product recalls, resulting in negative media coverage or being under increased surveillance.
- A threat to public safety (e.g. outbreak of food poisoning or injury to customers).
- Evidence of malpractices (e.g., fraud, corruption).
- Negative public statements from a regulator, NGO or major retailer.
Meeting all requirements of the standard
With this you think you have met all certification requirements and yet your certificate is suspended, how can this be the case?
In a nutshell, the certification body in a country is accredited to certify a GFSI recognized scheme such as BRC Food, IFS Food, FSSC22000 worldwide. This accreditation is crucial for certification bodies, without the right to certify a scheme, no business is possible worldwide. FSSC22000 is an even greater risk, as this standard consists of ISO22000 and a technical document. Inconsistencies with FSSC22000 can lead to global suspension of all ISO standards. This once happened to a certifier….
If a food company is suspended without reason by the certifying body, it has nothing to do with the company, it has more to do with mismanagement by the certifying body. Due to the use of freelance auditors, among other things, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the certifying body to maintain a clear overview and to comply with all requirements. For example, it may be that the audit protocol has not been fully demonstrable followed by the (freelance) auditor; from a legal point of view, the certifying institution has been in default as a result.
If this happens in one country, the global certifying body will immediately put all questionable processes on hold and thus also suspend your Food company. In case of any accreditation issues otherwise worldwide the right to audit is compromised. Of course, the certification body will want to resolve this issue as soon as possible, in its own interest for the global accreditation and ultimately also to keep the suspended companies as customers (less important for them) .
In the end the food company is jeopardized, with a suspended certificate. This suspension can normally be undone in the short term with a short follow-up audit by the certifier.
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