The basic conditions are always the primary concern. 48% of the total number of deviations at our customers are related to these. If we look closely, we can see that the following two matters require the most attention: the deviations in the measures to prevent cross-contamination and the suitability and maintenance of equipment. In addition, various deviations are also established with regard to cleaning, disinfection and pest control. 50% of the audit takes place on the production floor. During the tour there is a clear focus on preventing (cross) contamination of the product. Especially if this poses a risk to food safety. To reduce such deviations, a planned ‘unannounced audit on the shop floor, performed by an independent auditor, can help. The certification does not depend on it, but it does provide a good interim snapshot.
In addition to deviations from the basic conditions, the quality manager writes many deviations on the basis of validation, verification and improvement plan. The trend is that more and more attention is being paid to Root Cause Analysis and trend analyses. In practice, it turns out to be quite difficult to uncover the core of the problem, to draw up the right improvement actions and, above all, to implement them. Proper application of the PDCA circle is a useful tool in this regard.
13% of the total deviations are written based on the various Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments. The things that typically go wrong in this area are the substantiation of the risks, the determination of suitable measures and the correct follow-up of the named control measures. The correct application of validation and verification can help draw up control measures and demonstrably controlling the measures. KTBA sees an increase in the number of deviations from the implementation (10% in 2021 compared to 5.5% in 2020). It is important that the handbook and practice are always aligned.
Despite the increasing attention for the food safety culture, relatively few deviations are written on this subject by the quality manager at our customers.
In 2021 the new IFS 7 standard was introduced. If we compare the results of IFS 7.0 with those of IFS 6.1, we see that on average more deviations are written to the new standard. (12 deviations per audit for IFS 7 compared to 10 deviations per audit for IFS 6.1). The difference in the A, B, C and D ratings is also striking. There are no B-deviations, those are the expected deviations,though they are noted, but there are more C and D deviations. So potential deviations are regarded as concrete deviations. As a result, the scores have dropped 2% on average, which could just be the difference between higher level and foundation level. With regard to the categories of deviations, there is hardly any difference with the above overall picture. Also for IFS 7.0, most shortcomings are written on the basic conditions.