Top 7 food safety compliance costs

Have you ever wondered how much food safety compliance costs your food business?

When a new client contacts me requesting a quote to develop a food safety program for their food business, I always try and highlight those costs that are not easily recognised. If they are quoting for new business I always emphasise the need to consider all food safety compliance costs when negotiating the customer ‘buy’ price. Here are my top 7 food safety compliance costs that you may not have considered.

1.  Certification Costs

There was a time when having your food business third party certified for Food Safety & HACCP was a great marketing advantage. You could leverage this achievement when bidding or quoting for new business. It was a way to show your commitment to food safety, business improvement and customer satisfaction. Now days however, it seems to be a minimum expectation that you have some type of independent external assessment of your food safety standards and practices.

The cost for certification will be dependent on the size and location of your business along with which food safety certification scheme you select.  Poor compliance and audit performance can lead to added costs through an increase in audit frequency.

2.  Verification Activities

Many food companies will under-estimate the cost of completing verification activities. Some of these costs can be related to:

  • External laboratory testing for shelf-life testing
  • Environmental swabs
  • Water quality testing (micro and chemical)
  • Chemical and micro testing for finished product
  • External equipment calibration

3.  Supplier Management

The quality and safety of the raw materials that you supplier provide you can mean the difference of surviving in business or not. When you have poor suppliers, costs can add up when you have to audit these suppliers, constantly follow-up with issues and delays in production because of incorrect or sub-standard raw materials.

4.  Cleaning

Having clean equipment and a clean premise is a basic food safety requirement and fundamental to producing safe food. Cleaning costs can include chemicals, people power and cleaning equipment. Cleaning verification activities (eg swab testing) should also be considered especially when allergens are in the mix.

5.  Record Keeping

There is more and more emphasis on record keeping, not only to show company due diligence but to also meet external certification requirements. Filling out, collating, reviewing and retrieving records takes time. These costs can be slightly reduced when using an electronic record system.

6.  Training

Training play an integral part in keeping your workforce skilled and knowledgeable in food safety, food quality and compliance matters. Introductory and refresher training should be accounted for when considering food safety costs in your business. Don’t forget to include training of contractors in this food safety compliance cost. If you are looking for training, check out the courses that I have available by clicking here.

7.  Specialised equipment

If you are suppling to certain customers, there may be the requirement to implement certain procedures that require the installation of specialised equipment. The most common example of this food safety cost would be the use of metal detectors. Many of the big retailers require all of their branded food products to be passed through a metal detector as part of the production process.

Can you add to this list?

I have only covered my top 7 in this article but you should also include food safety compliance costs related to pest control, product assessments, building and equipment construction, internal audits to name a few more. If you can add to this list, please leave a comment below to share your knowledge with the HACCP Mentor community.

By | 2017-02-27T10:39:21+00:00 February 27th, 2017|21 Comments


  1. Babalwa April 4, 2017 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    Hi amanda you have covered everything and i would like to add Maintenance Cost..

    • HACCP Mentor April 5, 2017 at 10:20 am - Reply

      Thanks for your contribution Babalwa

  2. Mohamed Khan March 26, 2017 at 12:44 am - Reply

    Higher equipment maintenance costs.

  3. Susan Kingsbury March 17, 2017 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Hygienic Engineering
    Equipment Calibration
    Internal Auditing process and programs
    Continual Improvement

    • HACCP Mentor March 21, 2017 at 11:21 am - Reply

      Great Susan! Thanks for your input

  4. Tach March 16, 2017 at 1:55 am - Reply

    Cost of hiring external body to give training to internal auditor

    • HACCP Mentor March 21, 2017 at 11:23 am - Reply

      Thanks Tach. The cost of training can certainly add up. I now have a cost effective Internal Auditor training available online. You can check it out at

  5. Bruce Perkin March 14, 2017 at 4:17 am - Reply

    Most of the businesses I have had contact with have multiple audits on their facilities every year. One such business told me they averaged one audit per week. Of course an audit is very time consuming, taking at least one full day, which together with opening and closing meetings for a wider cross section of staff, means a huge amount of people resources dedicated to audits. On top of that, there is all the time to do any corrective actions identified.

    • HACCP Mentor March 21, 2017 at 11:31 am - Reply

      Thanks Bruce – multiple audit activities certainly cut into your time.

  6. M.N.Sridhar March 11, 2017 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    I think Amanda has covered a lot…..Few suggestions from my side: Resource, Well maintained data base with model guidelines for easy accessible. HACCP studies can extended to vendors level to ensure food safety. Good R & D in all the levels

    • HACCP Mentor March 21, 2017 at 11:33 am - Reply

      Thanks for your input 🙂 R & D activities add up over time.

  7. Kishor Ramakrishna Kulkarni March 11, 2017 at 2:14 am - Reply

    Additional transportation cost as well as material handling cost plus safety maintenance cost is there.

    • HACCP Mentor March 11, 2017 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      Thanks Kishor for sharing your thoughts

  8. Sugathan S Nair March 3, 2017 at 2:50 am - Reply

    Validation Cost
    Cost for Mock Recall
    Cost for Personnel Hygiene
    Cost for subscription with vokuntary standards and acts to access standards and test methods
    Cost for membership with regulatory associates to get updated scintific and legal regulation from various groups world wide

    • HACCP Mentor March 9, 2017 at 12:17 pm - Reply

      Great additions Sugathan…thanks!

  9. Cathie March 1, 2017 at 2:21 am - Reply

    Time spent ensuring continued compliance as new legislation/regulations are rolled out

    • HACCP Mentor March 9, 2017 at 12:18 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing Cathy 🙂

  10. Clement Perera February 28, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Well i think Amanda has covered most of the stuff but i would like to add a few more like staff uniforms and shoes plus laundry, PPE,(Personal Protective Equipment),specialized packaging for your product to meet the standards.

    • HACCP Mentor March 9, 2017 at 12:18 pm - Reply

      Thanks Clement for your input.

  11. M. Irfan February 28, 2017 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Halal auditor

    • HACCP Mentor March 9, 2017 at 12:19 pm - Reply

      Thanks M.

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