What is a contract service provider?

In the context of food safety and HACCP, a contract service provider can be defined as any person or organisation that provides a service to your organisation that can have an impact on your food safety compliance. Read on to see examples of common contract service providers along with your compliance expectations.

Examples of a contract service provider

The key types of contract service providers that may exist in your food business are:

  • Cleaning contractors
  • Pest Control contractors
  • Calibration providers including metal detector, scales,
  • External food testing laboratory
  • Refrigeration and Freezer maintenance contractors
  • Third Party Certification bodies
  • Production and Warehouse Labour Hire
  • Waste removal

When deciding if they far under your food safety management system just ask the question – “Can this provider have an impact on our food safety outcomes?”

Rules and requirements

A contract service provider can be considered, to a degree, the same as any of your approved suppliers. This means that they will be subject to the same selection, approval and review process just like any other supplier.

If you maintain 3rd party HACCP certification like SQF, BRC or FSSC 2000, there may also be additional requirements. These include documenting full specifications for contract services along with detailing relevant training requirements for all contract personal.

A contract service provider specification should outline the description of the service to be provided. These may also be included in the written contract or agreement with the business. I find it useful to summarize details and descriptions of each contract service provider in one document.

Personal hygiene requirements

Anyone who enters your food production facility should be trained and deemed competent in following both personal hygiene requirements and good manufacturing practices. Contract service providers are not exempt from this requirement. Education and training systems can be set up as part of your facility visitor and contractor induction program.

Review and Update

All contract service providers should be reviewed on a regular basis. I would suggest, at a minimum, every year and when there have been issues identified that could potentially impact your food safety compliance or the safety of your food product.

Share your experience

Do you use contract service providers in your food business? Can you add to the example list above? Please share your experience with the HACCP Mentor community by leaving a comment below.

4 thoughts on “What is a contract service provider?”

    1. Amanda Evans-Lara

      If those companies provide a ‘service’ to you, taking into consideration the examples provided, they would be considered a contract service provider. However, if these companies are providing raw food materials or packaging, they are considered to be input suppliers.

  1. I would like to add laundry to it. Most companies use a laundry company to do their laundry of the clothes people uses in production.

    1. Amanda Evans-Lara

      Thanks Peter, great suggestion for those food businesses that have laundered uniforms in place.

Comments are closed.

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