A Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) auditor is someone who who understands, monitors, and enforces the standards as well as the principles of a process-safety or HACCP-based system. In most cases, the auditor will need to be certified in order to serve in an official capacity. HACCP is a quality management system that ensures the safety of food from the farm to the table within the boundaries of the United States. A majority of the rules and regulations related to HACCP safety are created by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Agriculture. A HACCP auditor will use a variety of tools and techniques to uphold these regulations.
The auditor will examine, evaluate and then report on a system's status, including both the adequacies and deficiencies. After analyzing the entire system, a report will be created that addresses how well the system meets all of the rules and regulations surrounding the management and control of process safety. HACCP protocols can apply to a variety of sectors within and related to the food service industry.
There are a number of minimum expectations that are placed upon every certified HACCP auditor. There are an ever-growing number of government requirements related to food safety, which means that the HACCP certification process continues to become more time intensive. In order to be eligible for the certification process, a prospective auditor must not only pass the exam, but also have at least a certain amount of real-world experience in one or more designated areas.
After a HACCP auditor becomes certified, he or she will have a broad yet detailed knowledge of hazard analysis and critical control points related to food safety. It is important for the auditor to have an understanding not only of product safety but also of the way HACCP relates to other types of risk-management systems. From this, the auditor will be able to recognize the level of management commitment via how the program is deployed and how effective it is.
In total, there are seven principles that every HACCP auditor must understand and apply. They range from conducting hazard analysis and determining critical control points to establishing corrective action procedures and procedures for recordkeeping and documentation. Combined, these seven principles are meant to be the fundamental guiding force that is applied to all of the regulations created by government agencies.
An HACCP auditor has undergone extensive food safety training and HACCP workshops in order to become certified. This allows the auditor to enforce all applicable government requirements that are designed to promote food safety from the farm to the table. Along with conducting the audit, the auditor also reports all necessary findings to appropriate sources.