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Recent events in food companies have once again shown that outliers in their own industry have the potential to discredit an entire profession. Confidence in an entire industry is impaired. To be more effective against misconduct, QS conducts fully unannounced random audits at all system levels.
The operations in QS certified companies must be transparent and always visible. This is the claim that the QS testing system places on itself and its system partners. In practice, this means that the QS auditors for the current QS random audits are at home and abroad completely unannounced at the doorstep. QS Managing Director Hermann-Josef Nienhoff: "These actually completely unannounced random audits are an effective tool for us to protect all those who do daily good work and produce safe fresh food from the outliers in their own industry. These audits are ultimately a confidence-building measure for more food safety and animal welfare, in addition to the regular controls. "
The random audits are a supplement to the regular controls and have been carried out since July this year in the meat and meat products and fruit, vegetables, potatoes system chains. It is primarily about the control of production processes on site. A spontaneous cancellation is only accepted in hardship cases.
According to the EU Guidance on Certification Systems, in the case of "unannounced inspections", contact with the operation can be made a few hours earlier to ensure the presence of a suitable respondent. QS was the first standard provider to introduce this practice in 2013. QS now goes a step further with the first random sample audits in its entirety without any announcment: increasing transparency and expanding trust are the goals. In December, this year's phase of the first entirely unannounced random sample audits will be completed domestically and abroad at all stages of QA. "We can already say that this development is accepted by the industry. The number of critically classified businesses is limited. Together, we want to continue to expand this path in the future," explains Nienhoff about QS' plans.
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