he precipice is not that far removed from many operations.
This Jensen brothers’ lawsuit against Primus Labs calls to question if the usual third party certification disclaimer was provided by Primus Labs or whether it was read and understood by the Jensen brothers. The outcome of this case is not immediately predictable. However, the following facts are indisputable: Snapshot audits are sampling-based. Due to cost considerations, these audits only provide a short duration or window of opportunity to assess and observe the operations. Other factors affecting the reliability of the audits include auditor knowledge and experience, competition for business among certifying bodies, the suitability of the auditing checklist, etc. As a result of these limiting factors, third party audits cannot be and should not be relied upon to provide food safety guarantees. Third Party audits serve a different purpose than is often assumed.
The assurance of food safety must come from the safeguards implemented by the food business operator. In
spite of audits and certifications, the operator remains fully responsible for
the assurance of food safety. Of course, as I have often said, much needs to be re-examined in connection with some current auditing and certification arrangements. Given the current auditing landscape, these kinds of temper tantrum litigation pursuits and CYB preoccupations do
not come as a surprise. We can in fact expect more of the same in the future until
some radical changes occur in the auditing arrangements.
The era of certify and run appears to be approaching an end. Auditors should expect to increasingly be held accountable and liable for what they certify.
SSQA-HACCP Synergy, intensified internal auditing arrangements, MOM training, education strategies, etc.