News

Company news

Leading change in the food industry- 2 Sisters to publish UK poultry audit data

           

2 Sisters Food Group Leading the Way

Food Audits and inspections

Summary

Commentators, regulators and consumer groups are agreed that transparency within food supply chains provides consumers with necessary assurance about the safety, quality and provenance of their food.

The recent select committee raised a concern at the lack of joined up intelligence and knowledge sharing across the food industry amongst manufacturers, regulators and retailers.

After reviewing the processes of our customers and our internal practices we have decided to start this process and share all the Audit and Inspection outcomes from our customers, standard owners and regulatory bodies.

We will be the first in the industry to do this and we hope this bold step will allow us to work with regulators, standard owners and customers to develop a system for all to use.

How Audits and Inspections Work

Audits and inspections are carried out by a number of organisations, they are all seeking to make sure that the way we operate meets the requirements of their organisation. Some of these are common but there are differences and some instances they will be seeking to check on specifics unique to their organisation. 

The FSA and Local Authorities provide regulation at the national and local level. Their focus is to make sure that we comply with the law.  It is our legal responsibility to produce safe food. We are audited by standard bodies such as BRC Global Standards, Red Tractor and the Soil Association. They check that we meet the requirements of their schemes. In addition, our customers carry out audits and inspections to make sure that we are meeting their requirements which may in some cases go beyond those of the standard bodies.  Each of these bodies will look at similar areas of activity and control within our operations but from a different perspective and focus.

This means that the audits and inspections used to monitor our sites cover similar areas but all focus on their own particular area of interest. Common to all are that the audits and inspections of our premises and operations are carried out by trained and competent 3rd party auditors.

These auditors all check how well our operations conform to both their own organisations specified operational standards and the requirements of the law. Any areas that need addressing are called non-conformances, which are graded. There is not one uniform grading system. 

After an audit of our premises and discussion with the auditors we undertake remedial actions to address the non- conformances to ensure any areas of concern are addressed. This can result in: retraining people to implement systems correctly, reviewing and changing our systems to make them more robust or making repairs to buildings or fabric. As you will appreciate if building or other work is needed this make take several months to complete.

Most auditing bodies also grade their audits to give an overall understanding of the robustness of the site’s people, premises, process and procedures. These are based on the number and type of non-conformance, but there is no uniform way of doing this. The grades, audit score and consequences of those grades vary from organisation to organisation.

The auditing of the performance of our people, premises and processes; the raising of non-conformances and their close out is all part of the normal monitoring and continuous improvement process in the food industry.

Recent Audit and Inspection history

Since 1st July 2017 to end November 2017 there have been 150 Audits / Inspections in our Chicken processing sites, 114 were unannounced, 36 announced. These have identified a number of areas where improvement is needed but no food safety issues. 107 of these audits / inspections are since the Guardian / ITN media, showing the scrutiny that we have had since this event; to be clear we welcome this extra scrutiny, audits and inspections are a very effective tool for driving continuous improvement.

Below we have listed the number of audits / inspections by site and the number of non-conformances raised and still open at 18th December. We have also shown the latest grade from the BRC Food Safety Scheme that is the most widely adopted audit scheme, run by BRC Global Standards. 

During 96 of those audits, non-conformances were notified to 2SFG. These are detailed below graded into three areas; where there was actual food safety or legality issues, where our system or process is not good enough and there could be a risk and finally where we could do things more effectively.

 

SiteLatest BRC GradeAudits and InspectionsFood Safety or Legal IssueSystem or process
requiring improvement
System or process
could be improved
    RaisedStill OpenRaisedStill Open

Coupar Angus

A+

16

0

11

0

54

3

Flixton

A+

12

0

9

1

29

3

Llangefni

AA

12

0

3

0

34

0

Sandycroft

A+

16

0

14

1

53

2

Scunthorpe

A+

16

0

10

0

53

0

Site C

A+

13

0

4

0

16

0

Site D

A

28

0

4

0

70

5

Site E

A

13

0

5

1

68

7

Witham

A+

5

0

0

0

44

3

Willand

A

19

0

2

0

54

0

Total

 

150

0

62

3

475

23

 

  • Non-conformances are closed out (resolved) once remedial action has been put in place to address the risk or issue identified. Often short-term action on the day, solves the issue quickly but we only consider it fully completed once we have identified and addressed the root cause of the issue.
  • BRC grades audits from AA to D, the plus indicates that it is an unannounced audit. All our sites are now in the unannounced programme.
  • Average number of non-conformances raised by site during an audit / inspection 3.6
  • Average number of non-conformances still open 0.02 per audit, per site.
  • None of the non-conformances identified food safety issues.

2SFG produces safe food every day. We always seek to operate in a way that fully meets the expectations of our customers and regulators whilst continuously improving our operation. These audits / inspections, the insight they give us and the remedial action taken is an important part in the continuous improvement cycle.

We would welcome views on this approach, please send comments to transparency@2sfg.com. We will collate the views we receive to help inform our own reporting but also to help inform any wider initiative.  Please note this is a consultative document which we will update from time to time.

We also look forward to working with the FSA, BRC Global Standards other stakeholders to see how we can continue to deliver the transparency that is so important to customer confidence.

-Ends-