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Growing Together Fall 2019

FS3: Food Safety Document Requirements

Karl Yuki, Grow West PCA/CCA and FS3 Food Safety Consultant

FS3 : Food Safety Document Requirements

In a food safety program, growers must meet several requirements. Among those are documenting the fertilizer source, application rates, and employee training. The “document requirement,” as it’s called, is perhaps one of the most important aspects of food safety. In the view of an auditor, nothing has truly been done until it is written down. Verbal confirmation of some activities is invalid to an auditor without a written record.

As a food safety consultant, the most common mistakes made on the document requirement are:

  1. Missing signature. Most records need a signature to show who did the recording or that it was reviewed.
  2. Dates without the year. Dates are needed on everything. The need to keep records for at least two years makes it important to know what year the record was made.
  3. Misplaced records. Records need to be retrievable. Organization is as important as creating the record.

How events are recorded can be just as important. Always write in ink, not pencil. Mistakes will happen (we’re all human) but refrain from scribbling over them or using white-out. A single line through the error is the preferred method for making edits. Electronic records are acceptable if there is a method to track changes. In the world of food safety, even accidental mistakes need to be documented.

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