GFSI Announces Temporary Audit Measures Due to Covid-19
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) team monitors the Covid-19 situation on a daily basis. The main objective is to ensure that consumers can continue to trust food safety standards globally. Another important concern is the safety of the auditors when they travel to food production sites. How can audits be carried out in times of travel restrictions, curfews and quarantine?
There are already many audit restrictions that affect the certification status of certain sites. The GFSI has therefore established temporary audit measures:
- If an auditor is unable to travel to a site due to current travel restrictions, the GFSI may call Certification Bodies (CB) to review if there is the possibility of sending auditors from regions that have no travel restrictions.
- A particular focus is currently on Certificate Program Owners (CPOs) whose certificates are about to expire and cannot be audited in a traditional manner. GFSI has agreed on a number of measures for the immediate term to support these CPOs to ensure that they can continue to fulfil their important role of monitoring and controlling the supply of safe food to consumers globally at this time of crisis
- Certificates may now be extended once, for up to six months following a risk assessment
- Any new certificates which have been re-issued by following anything other than a standard audit will not be recognized by the GFSI. This refers, for example, to virtual or remote audits
- There will be no new site certifications unless a standard in-person audit can be undertaken in its entirety