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.
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.
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.