As we’ve learned from previous posts, we know that companies spend lots of effort and money each year to keep their facilities clean and in tip-top shape to provide you products of the highest level of quality. Besides training, education, and scheduling these companies to have one more way to make sure they are doing things right.
There are businesses that, very much like a mother-in-law will come to your facility and tell you everything you are doing wrong in keeping house. Actually to conduct business with some major companies like Costco, Walmart, Whole Foods or Target your facility has to have a rating of 95 or better and for some only a 98 or better will do. The ratings are based on the results of findings from the audit by a third party company like AIB International (American Institute of Baking) or ASI Food Safety. Trust me, for the companies I worked where the score was important for business, the audit process is stressful and the worry endless until you get that report and rating.
These auditors have a long list of things they look at which are the same for every facility they inspect so the scores are comparable. The condition of the facility, cleanliness of the facility, sanitation schedule, pest control program, condition of storage containers, receiving procedures, cooler log, freezer log, the condition of the employee restrooms, the condition of the break/lunchroom, standard operating procedures and training. It’s a thorough inspection and really keeps you on your toes but the secret to passing this inspection and getting the needed rating score is to run your facility this way year round. Don’t get lax but keep consistent especially since once you begin justifying putting of cleaning and repairs it’ll become all too convenient to keep making excuses until it’s too late. With that said, I worked at one company that waited until they got their notice of pending inspection, which you request in the first place and then they’d proceed to freak out getting all the records together on pest control and training and couldn’t even tell you the countless hours of overtime for cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Yes, it’s true, not all companies are operated the same.
Then there are a few larger corporations that have their own internal audit teams that would travel around the country and show up unannounced. Several months after we were bought by an even bigger fish, I can still remember the look on the plant managers face when one of those teams showed up unexpectedly to evaluate our operation as well as to deem who was worth keeping.
In your own home, you don’t need a team of auditors checking every nook and cranny before assigning you a score but I’m sure we all know a family member or friend who would be more than happy to do that for us. However, it has been my experience if you keep up a consistent cleaning routine, do repairs within a reasonable time period and have good food storage habits your home will be safe even for your mother-in-law.