Audit in China
As part of the first audit, we check whether the first impression of a possible successful cooperation is created. During the first audit, a good first impression of the potential business partner is created by visiting the factory, initial personal discussions, examining the company documents, visual inspection of the machines and production facilities and visiting the office and storage rooms. In doing so, the following questions are usually clarified:
– the staff works according to fixed production plans
– there are reasonable health and safety measures in the factory
– the staff is motivated and adequately trained
– is there enough staff at all
– What is the financial situation of the contractual partner
– Are the rooms clean and suitable for production?
– how is quality assurance structured in the factory
– what is your impression that the factory is able to carry out your order properly
If there are current productions in the factory, short production processes and samples can also be checked. If there are important test reports for the products, such as for compliance with CE guidelines, the originals of these documents can also be inspected on site.
We also audit companies that produce food or consumer goods, i.e. products that come into contact with food, human mucous membranes or are intended to come into contact with human skin or hair for a longer period of time. In advance, it makes sense to have proof that people in the factory have been adequately trained in hygiene standards. These audits include:
Business premises and associated facilities (e.g. sanitary facilities) must be clean, adequately ventilated and illuminated. Floors, windows, tools, machines and work surfaces must be clean and cleaned and can be cleaned easily and quickly at any time.
Products of the production must not be affected by external conditions such as e.g. dust, pathogens or pests. During production, all product components, work surfaces, etc. must be protected from coughing, sneezing, dust, etc.
It must be ensured that the food is not affected by external influences such as dust or pathogens. This also includes hygienic storage and personal hygiene when processing the food.
All items that come into contact with food must be clean and undamaged at all times and must not adversely affect the food. In addition, all items must be LFGB tested so that no allergenic or harmful substances can settle in the food. This also applies to transport containers. It must also be ensured that all objects in production, containers for transport and storage of the food, etc. are suitable for the appropriate temperature that they are exposed to due to the suitable temperature for the food.
The following regulations on personal hygiene must be observed and checked in particular:
- Clean and suitable work clothing (headgear when handling unpackaged perishable food),
- Regular cleaning of the hands, hands and forearms must be done before starting work, after each visit to the toilet and when changing work steps. Disposable towels must be available for drying
- Disinfecting hands e.g. after visiting the toilet and/or dirty work (even if gloves were worn)
- No hand jewelry (rings, watches, bracelets),
- Short, clean, unpainted fingernails,
- Even small wounds must be covered watertight
- Avoiding affecting production when sneezing or coughing
- Covering the hair (especially long hair)
- No eating, drinking or smoking in production
- Anyone who feels ill is not allowed to participate in the production
- How often are employees trained in food hygiene?
Only people who do not have any diseases or signs of such diseases that can be transmitted through food may come into contact with food.
Industrial hygiene in the food industry includes all measures to keep work rooms and work equipment clean. These include, among other things
- the spatial separation of clean and unclean areas
- the storage of waste in protected areas
- separate workplaces for special production processes (e.g. a room for meat processing, a room for vegetable processing)
- the consistent cleaning of all equipment that comes into contact with food
- regular cleaning of the rooms in which food is stored or prepared
- the use of different cleaning cloths for different areas of the factory
What else belongs to industrial hygiene
- Tables, worktops, production lines, etc. must be easy and quick to wash and must not be damaged
- Equipment and materials as well as packaging materials for the food must not contain any questionable substances (food-safe)
- Everything related to the cooling of food must be set to the optimum temperature and defrosted regularly
- Cutting boards must not be made of wood.
- Machines must not be able to release any lubricants into the food
- Floors must be non-slip and easy to clean
- Work rooms must be adequately lit and ventilated
A washbasin for washing hands only must be available (with soap, disinfectant, hand washing brush and disposable towels)
For optimal product hygiene, the following must also be observed:
- Storage must be clean and tidy
- Foodstuffs requiring refrigeration must be kept at the appropriate temperatures.
- An uninterrupted cold chain for products that need to be cooled
- Food must not adversely affect each other when different products are produced in parallel.
- Proper separation of goods must be ensured: the separate storage and production processes of the different items.
- The strict separation of the tools for different products. Cleaning agents, disinfectants and other chemicals must be stored separately from food
- A negative influence by pests, dust, pathogens, etc. must be ruled out (also avoiding touching the food with your hands)
Additional important checks in social audits (ethics audits)
- Hygiene, health and safety regulations on site
- Cleaning and handling of generated waste
- Child and youth work/ work for the elderly
- Working conditions, including forced labour, employee representation, disciplinary measures and discrimination.
- Working hours/ vacation times/ weekend work and wages
- Work by pregnant women and/or sick people
Our on-site approach is as follows:
- Discussion on the process, purpose and benefits of the social audit
- Factory tour/ walkthrough of all rooms on site
- Review of documents on wages, vacation times, staff
- Employee interviews with randomly selected employees by the on-site auditor (group and individual interviews)
- Final meeting with supplier