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Auditing Data Analysis

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At the closing meeting for each certification or non-cert audit conducted, our Mérieux NutriSciences Certification Auditors explain any findings observed during the audit and typically provide a file at the site.  For supplier audits, some customers prefer to review the findings before sending the report to their suppliers.  

Upon receiving the findings for an audit, someone at the site typically adds them to an internal spreadsheet to develop the corrective actions and for certification audits to submit them to the auditor. Our auditors regularly receive training on root cause analysis methodology to evaluate the corrective actions and preventive actions such as:

  • 5 Whys 
  • Fishbone diagram
  • KNOT Chart
  • Six Sigma Analysis
  • Fault Tree Analysis
  • Failure Mode Effective Analysis 

Leveraging different root cause analysis methods can be valuable to the site team but may need to vary depending on the finding.  For example, using the “5 Whys” method may work well for employee mistakes on records. In contrast, freezer temperature failures may require a Six Sigma analysis or detailed fishbone diagram approach, leading to maintenance or capital expenditures.  The Certification Program Owners (CPO), in their training of auditors and Certification Bodies, require a more detailed root cause analysis methodology with corrective actions and effective preventive measures to protect consumers.  One CPO gave the example of a nonconformance found by an auditor with a corrective action, and then six months later, the same issue reoccurred and caused a recall.

So, what other data analysis can be leveraged to enhance food safety? Auditing firms can provide trend analysis over time, Pareto analysis of findings, site comparisons for multi-site companies, and comparison to industry standards and trends.  External audit data can be compared to internal audit data or testing data.  Food manufacturing companies compare supplier and co-manufacturer audit data with testing data in systems like our QualMap.  The key question for the future is whether enough of the correct data can be collected and analyzed effectively to predict and leverage to prevent food safety issues.

Contact us to speak with our experts more about our third party auditing services and data analysis platform QualMap.

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