Explained – Validation, Monitoring and Verification
Dear Food Biters,
We are riding a bit of a roller coaster at the moment in the sense that we are moving between different topics in our blog that really are poles apart but are equally important when it comes to food safety. Last week we took a quick look at the importance of creativity and innovation in business, but today we are heading out in a totally different direction – validation, monitoring and verification.
Validation, monitoring and verification are essential parts of an effective food safety management system. In fact, these are the elements that stand between an ordinary food safety system and an effective food safety management system.
The purpose of a food safety management system is to produce safe products by implementing certain control measures. Due to the nature of the hazards that we are trying to control, we need to have the assurance that these control measures will help us achieve our purpose – SAFE FOOD.
Validation is performed to confirm that control measures will indeed, consistently control the food safety hazards to acceptable levels that will not cause harm to the consumer. Validation seeks to answer the question “Will the system that is put in place, be effective in controlling the hazards?
Once validated control measures have been established, they should be monitored. Monitoring is performed throughout the process, to enable timeous corrections to be made. Monitoring is not a “tick” exercise (done before or after a shift), but an accurate, real-time reflection and recording of the conditions related to a specific process. It is important that operators record the “real” answers, instead of the “right” answers on their forms.
Many food safety management systems fail when the final safety net, the verification system, fails. There is a misconception that verification activities simply involve signing off of forms and records. This cannot be further from the truth. Although this could very well form part of the verification activities, it requires that the verifier thoroughly evaluate the information that has been recorded as a final opportunity to prevent unsafe products from entering the food chain. Strong verification systems, however, do not rely on reading through stacks of paperwork and blindly initialling each page. Verification relies on robust internal audit programmes, testing of products, environmental samples and swabs, etc. No verification systems are as powerful as those that include the “go-see” activity.
Each of these aspects have a vital role to play in the food safety management system, and without strong, reliable systems, companies will not be able to produce safe food.
Register for our brand new 1-day Validation, Monitoring and Verification Workshop and learn how you can take your current FSMS from a mediocre paper-driven system to a system that delivers on its purpose – SAFE FOOD. Our first workshop is scheduled for 14 July 2021 and will take place at Lemoenkloof in Paarl – you are also welcome to “Zoom” in from anywhere else! Click here to register or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Food Bites Team