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We provide seamless service and fulfilling our global reputation for food safety knowledge and guidance. By taking advantage of specific audit services, your company optimize audit preparation to avoid the risk of failing the audit.

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Second-Party Audit

FoodChain ID is approved to perform audits for Costco and McDonald’s Supplier Quality Management System (SQMS)

Second-party audits may be combined with other GFSI audits, potentially adding efficiencies to budgets and staff resources.

What makes FoodChain ID unique?

  • Food is our specialty, unlike many certification bodies.
  • For our wide range of certifications, we have auditors in 22 countries over 6 continents who audit in 20 languages.
  • We are well known for our highly responsive customer and technical teams.

Costco Audits

Who needs a Costco audit?

Any site producing or supplying consumable products for Costco is required to undergo a Costco Audit. This includes sites producing animal-derived products (e.g. eggs and milk), fresh produce, food packaging materials, and operations involved in the storage and distribution of products sold by Costco. The audit process is managed by the Costco Auditing Group with supplier requirements defined in Costco’s Food Safety Audit Expectations document.
FoodChain ID Certification is a Costco approved certification body (CB) currently performing GFSI-recognized certification audits, Costco GMP audits, and Small Supplier audits required by the retailer.

Do I needs a Costco audit if my company is GFSI certified?

Suppliers, manufacturers, and storage/distribution operations must ensure assessment by a Costco approved CB when certifying to a GFSI-recognized certification program, which includes assessment against the relevant Costco Addendum. Additionally, sites must achieve the minimum score set forth in the Audit Expectations manuals as applicable to their scheme. GFSI-recognized programs certified by FoodChain ID Certification and accepted by Costco (including minimum certification scores required) are as follows:
BRCGS: Grade B or higher
– A.P.: Pass
– Safe Quality Foods (SQF): 85% or higher

Sites not meeting the minimum score must undergo a one day Costco GMP audit within 60 days of the GFSI audit, which includes verification of corrective actions for GFSI audit non-conformities.

Are you a GFSI certified site needing the Costco Addendum? Contact FoodChain ID Certification to schedule your next audit.

Which Costco expectations apply if I grow and pack produce?

Costco divides produce suppliers into two groups for the purpose of conducting food safety audits: suppliers packing in the field and suppliers who send harvested produce on to a facility for further packing or processing. Annual audit requirements differ according to the operation (i.e. field-packed commodity or facility).  Sites must undergo evaluation against Costco specific requirements while the site is fully operational. Specific requirements and approved schemes/CBs are listed in Costco’s Produce Food Safety Audit Expectations manual.

Field-packed commodity audits

Farm operations packing produce in the field must submit to a Grower Food Safety Audit according to a Costco approved scheme during each growing season. The audit must be performed by a Costco approved CB with results reviewed by Costco Food Safety Staff. Similarly, harvest crews of field-packed operations must be evaluated against Harvest Crew Food Safety Audit criteria during harvest activities of the growing season. Where multiple commodities are harvested, more than one Harvest Crew Audit may be required if harvest practices differ between commodities.

Facility audits

Produce facilities, which include packinghouses, processors, coolers, cold storage, and distribution warehouses, must undergo an annual third-party Food Safety Audit by a Costco CB according to approved schemes for facilities. Regardless of the site-elected scheme, the food safety program must include a supply chain component, which monitors the facility’s produce supplier(s) to ensure compliance with Costco’s audit expectations for growing and harvest operations. For commodities not packed in the field, the facility may designate accepted schemes and CBs for their suppliers to meet growing and harvest requirements; these do not need to be on the Costco approved list. Verification of supplier monitoring according to Costco expectations is evaluated during the facility’s Food Safety Audit.
FoodChain ID Certification is approved to conduct BRCGS and SQF certification audits for produce facilities with the required Costco Addendum.

How are Costco audits scheduled and managed?

Audits conducted for the purpose of meeting Costco expectations for suppliers are scheduled with a Costco approved CB. FoodChain ID Certification is approved to perform the following types of audits for Costco suppliers.

– GFSI-recognized certification audit with Costco Addendum (includes Food Safety, Packaging, and Storage/Distribution standards)
– Unannounced Food Safety & Quality Costco audit (GMP) – For sites not certified against a GFSI-recognized scheme
– Small Supplier Audits – For sites with fewer than 25 employees who do not have previous experience with third-party audits. This audit is only applicable on a one-time basis and then must be converted to a Costco GMP audit or GFSI-recognized certification on an annual basis

Once the requested audit has been scheduled and conducted, FoodChain ID Certification will manage the audit reporting process in the relevant Costco database. Corrective action reports (CARs) are required by the site to correct audit non-conformities. CARs must be uploaded to the appropriate database within the required timeframe. For produce suppliers, audit results and CARs are uploaded to Azzule. For all other suppliers, audit results and CARs are uploaded to EFA (formerly TraQtion).

SQMS Audit – McDonald’s

What is a SQMS Audit?

The McDonald’s SQMS (Supplier Quality Management System) program applies to companies who supply food products into the McDonald’s fast food chain. While an audit can be performed solely to the SQMS Standard, it is generally audited as a Bolt On to any GFSI Food Manufacturing Standard. The Standard itself covers specific requirements from McDonalds to cover aspects of its Supply Chain which are not requirements from normal GFSI audits.

Who needs McDonald’s SQMS

All suppliers to McDonalds will require an audit against the SQMS. McDonalds will inform their suppliers when an audit is required.

Can I combine my McDonald’s SQMS audit with other audits?

The SQMS is designed primarily to be audited with other GFSI Benchmarked standards

How do I become McDonald’s SQMS certified?

FoodChain ID Certification is an approved SQMS Audit certification body. If you’d like to work with us to become SQMS approved, contact us via our contact form.

Pre-assessment Audits

Are you looking to obtain food certification like BRCGS or SQF?

A gap assessment can help determine how close the company will be to meeting the certification requirements before the actual audit. Gap assessments are conducted separately from the certification team through our consulting group.

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