By Cameron Prince and Rich Simmons
There is distinct value to having global standards, such as the certification programs benchmarked to the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) with Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), for which the bar has been set quite high. While all certification programs can be of some benefit, those that have more detailed requirements are easier to develop and implement and they lend themselves to greater audit consistency. With one of the greatest challenges being that of consistency between auditors, the more prescriptive the standard, the more consistent the audits will be.
However, it is a significant challenge for any one auditor to get through all the clauses and subclauses of a standard in the typical two days that GFSI has allocated for a facility. The two-day application was derived at the beginning, when cost to industry was a big concern. Not only would multi-day audits cost more, they would disrupt production for a longer period of time, adding further to the cost. Therefore the duration was set at two days, but the standards to be reviewed have grown significantly since then.