Effective Training is a must to maintain food safety system

Having a well-designed food safety system is not only a standard but also regulatory requirement and a must if a company wants to maintain 3rd party audit certification.

FDA, USDA, and local health regulators require that companies develop, implement, and maintain HACCP based food safety systems. The Food Safety system is the outcome of implementing the food safety plan and supporting elements such as GMPs and Pre-requisite Program. Of course, the focus is on the food safety / HACCP based food safety plan. The first step to develop the food safety / HACCP plan is to conduct hazard analysis to determine the risk level associated with ingredients and processing steps.

Based on the analysis the site will determine appropriate controls. Those can include a variety of practices, procedures, and processes such as Preventive Controls, Critical Controls Points and in some cases the SOPs / PRPs.

HACCP Food Safety Plans are just one element of the system. Other elements such as GMPs, SOPs/ PRPs also require some written documents and many times corresponding monitoring logs. The tasks associated with development of the food safety system are complex and require technical knowledge. This knowledge could be gained not only through job experience but first and foremost through industry training. Currently there are several training curricula that are recognized by regulatory agencies (FDA, USDA, and others) and 3rd party audits including GFSI audits such as SQF, BRC or FSSC.

Those curricula include HACCP, PCQI, Internal Auditor, IAVA and FSVP for food importers. The one that is considered as basic is HACCP training. It teaches the technique for development of a HACCP plan with hazard identification, analysis, and decision-making process to determine the CCPs. It describes all 7 HACCP principles that for the most part are management components to the CCPs (critical limits, monitoring, corrective actions, verification, and records). HACCP also talks in detail about Pre-requisite Programs – supporting elements to HACCP plans and the CCPs.

PCQI Course focuses on Preventive Controls which include not only the CCPs but also Preventive Controls for Allergens, Sanitation and Supply Chain. This course is a regulatory requirement under 21 CFR 117. Very often Preventive Controls concept is called “HACCP on steroids” as it requires more critical elements than traditional HACCP and still the same management components as CCPs have under HACCP. The Preventive Controls concept doesn’t heavily focus on Pre-requisite Programs but still requires GMPs regulatory guidelines to be met.

Internal Auditor course that is based on ISO 19011:2011 trains professionals in conducting internal audit of the food safety and management systems. This training course talks about auditing techniques, elements of an effective audit, how to write audit reports and finally corrective actions and preventive measures.

IAVA (Intentional Adulteration Vulnerability Assessment) is one of the first courses that will qualify a person as Food Defense Qualified Individual as required by FDA regulations under 21 CFR 121. Vulnerability Assessment is a starting point to risk-based Food Defense Plans that regulators want you to build using HACCP method.

Finally Foreign Supplier Verification Program training course is addressed to food importers and helps them comply with FDA regulations under 21 CFR 1 subpart L. It teaches the importers about all activities under FSVP to ensure imported foods meet the same level of food safety standards as foods made in the US.


As a company, you have options in selecting training providers for your staff. Training courses described above may be costly especially when training groups of people. As a business you need a training provider that is capable of effectively delivering the content of the training curriculum. When searching for food safety courses ensure the Training Center has necessary accreditations and training, you’re signing up for will be recognized by regulatory agencies and your 3rd party audits. Here at BD Food Safety Consultants LLC, we are a team of Lead Instructors with over 45 years of experience. Our staff delivers training in multiple languages including English, Spanish and Polish. All of our instructors have not only teaching experience but also operational experience from food manufacturing facilities. The courses provided by us are full of real-life examples and experience sharing. For more information about training courses and to register please visit us at https://bdfoodsafety.com/training-programs/