How to be a great QA Manager

Welcome to Episode 24 of HACCP Mentor Review. I would like to take the opportunity to welcome any new readers and let you know that you can access all previous episodes from the sidebar link on In this episode, what to look for in a factory GMP audit is covered along with what makes a great QA Manager and caring for wooden pallets, indelible print. I have been hit with the cold the past few days so I won’t be doing a video / podcast of this episode until my voice is back. I really do not like winter 🙁 at all.

Skills of a great QA Manager

This week I was asked what makes a great food safety QA manager. Besides the obvious qualifications and knowledge of food safety, HACCP and regulatory compliance, a great QA manager needs to possess a bunch of complementary skills. These skills include auditing, organisation and how to get the best out of people. You can learn to be an auditor easy enough and these courses are accessible through both face-to-face and online training. Organisational skills can be learned but I also believe in a bit a natural tendency in this area. As for people skills – you need to be able to be personable whilst commanding respect. If you can get the best out of the people that you work with, half of your HACCP food safety headaches will be greatly decreased.

What to look for in a factory GMP audit

This tip was inspired by HACCP Mentor reader who has an upcoming job interview where a 20 minute Factory Audit has to be completed. If you ever find yourself in this situation, the main thing is to focus on observations – what you can see.

Look for things and situations that could effect the food safety. This would include things like people washing hands and having good personal hygiene. Look for objects and situations that could end up contaminating the food. This would be things like loose metal objects, broken utensils or uncovered lights. Look for any areas where bacteria could grow. This would include unclean surfaces, equipment and utensils; food not at the correct temperature (in and outside the chillers/freezers).

Make sure that you take notes so you can refer back to what you saw when you have to write up a report of your audit. Write down the name of any piece of equipment or area that you refer to and the name of any person that you talked to.

Food Safety Live 2013 success

I think I have now just recovered from Food Safety Live 2013. My presentation on “Think outside the box for HACCP Success” was great and went off with no technical issues. There was lots of fantastic presentations besides mine giving away lots of free information and knowledge. If you missed any presentations they are now all up online to view at You can also watch a cleaned copy of my presentation by visiting and clicking on the side bar graphic.

What does ‘indelible’ mean?

For any of your product packaging and labelling you need to ensure that the print is indelible. This means that it cannot be removed. Print should not be able to be erased, wiped, rubbed or washed off. This would also apply to any work in progress that is required to be identified for traceability purposes.

Action Item of the Week

This week’s action item is go around and check that wooden pallets used in the storage of food product are not splintered. Splintered wood can piece paper packaging of raw materials and finished product. Pieces of splintered wood can also drop from one pallet stored above another. These pieces may then get transferred into production areas. Also take the opportunity to check if there is suitable membrane in place between the wooden pallet and the food product.

Wrap Up

That wraps up this episode of HACCP Mentor Review. As always, you can send me an email or leave a comment below if you have any feedback. Until next time, I am Amanda Evans from HACCP Mentor.


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