Second Party Audits

Some food retailers and foodservice operators require suppliers to comply with certain requirements, specific to their own regulations and guidelines, before doing business with them. FoodChain ID is approved to perform audits for:


 McDonald’s Supplier Quality Management System (SQMS) 

Any of these supplier audits may be combined with other GFSI audits, saving you money, time and resources.

FoodChain ID’s expertise of more than 20 years in certification, testing and verification services for the food industry makes us an ideal partner in your certification journey.

Costco Audits

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.

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:

  • British Retail Consortium (BRC): 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.

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.

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.

FoodChain ID Certification is approved to conduct GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) and SQF certification audits for field-packed operations with the required Costco Addendum.

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 BRC and SQF certification audits for produce facilities with the required Costco Addendum.

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 TraQtion.

SQMS Audit – McDonald’s

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.

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

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

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.

Ready to get started? Contact us to schedule a call with one of our certification experts