Why Give Your Brewery an FDA Inspection Self Audit

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Because of the Food Safety Modernization Act, breweries have been under more scrutiny than ever before. And a strong defense can be engineered by a strong offense, which means breweries should start to take more careful note of what the Food & Drug Administration looks at when it comes to a Good Manufacturing Process inspection.

That can include inspecting the “plant” (the brewery) and grounds, equipment and utensils; sanitary facilities and controls; process and controls along with personnel.

“Be more knowledgeable than the FDA-hired local representatives,” said the BA’s Damon Scott to brewers and owners at the Indiana Craft Brewers Conference recently. “They may not be very knowledgeable of your brewery and that can give you an advantage.”

Many of the local inspectors are only used to auditing restaurants and other food-type of facilities.

FDALogoUsing the FDA’s GMP Inspection Report is a good way to know what could be investigated and get a head start on any sort of audit.

The self audit means being honest with yourself and trusting another team members to be a “food safety lead.”

Using the checklist and having the self audit on hand can be useful for the local inspection to help mitigate issues. An annual inspection can include the checklist along with a list of beer recipes, SOPs and your brewery’s safety and quality plans. Help can also be found by contacting your local health or agricultural department to do an inspection. Having their inspections on file can also help should your brewery have a surprise inspection by the FDA.

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