Changing customer demands and improved regulatory requirements have led to the production of food that is safe for human consumption. On the other hand, this has led to the rise of food safety consulting firms whose aim is to help these industries keep up the demands and regulations. Food safety consultants can offer a company operating in the food industry many services that are not limited to gap analysis, risk assessments, HACCP Plan Facilitation, and nutrition label reviews. As all firms are required to comply with regulation standards regardless of their size. Food safety consultants are proving to be an invaluable asset to a company on the road to certification.
Responsibilities of a Food Safety Consultant
All said and done, a food safety consultant has many responsibilities that are not limited to establishing documentation and at the same time helping in the record keeping procedures. It’s also the responsibility of a food consultant to come up with food safety improvements by altering the existing practices and procedures. Other responsibilities include sourcing services, software, and equipment that will be used for food laboratory testing and also assists with matters concerning audits and pre-audits preparations. In North America, it’s also the responsibility of a food consultant to find solutions to the barriers and problems that are hindering the implementation of the present program. Finally, a food safety consultant has the responsibility of training new staff about the procedures and assist in the development of a written program. A food safety consultant who has attended a food safety certificate program can be able to implement all the tasks discussed above.
Finding a Food Safety Consultant
There are plenty of food consultant and consulting firms online and choosing the right one can be a daunting task. Some of the qualities that you should look for when hiring a food safety consultant include technical knowledge in the food industry. Ask them about their experience and willingness to work on site. Ask the food consultant whether he would be willing to make up some follow up after the implementation of the project. The last thing you should look for is references and work history. Ask them about a previous client or a previous job they may have handled.
Details of the Agreement
If you agree to partner with a food safety consultant, sign a contract and ensure that the contract has the following details. First, ensure that there is a confidentiality agreement where you commit to protecting trade secrets for one another. Second, ensure that there is a detailed breakdown of what the consultant has agreed to do for you. This may be useful later in case of breach of contract. Finally, ensure that you include a form of payment based on the needs of the consultant.