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Food Safety Auditor

Who is a Food Safety Auditor?

Individuals who do quality assessments in food manufacturing factories, commercial slaughterhouses, and other food processing plants to maintain the safety, as well as the sanitation regulations of the local, national, and international government, are called food safety auditors.

A food safety auditor could work in private factories or government tenders.

These individuals must be ready to travel or work in atmospheres that are either loud, cold, or not so clean places.

What does a Food Safety Auditor do?

  • Most food safety auditors are required to travel to sites that require an inspection to audit if the procedures (or standards) per government regulations are followed (or met).

  • If the factories or processing plants have to improve in certain areas, the food safety auditor must devise a plan to ensure that the organization incorporates the necessary improvements to bring the standards to the requisites set. 

  • They submit the audit reports to the government. These audits help prevent any possible foodborne disease, hence, transparency in the report is critical.

  • Apart from conducting these audits, they are expected to stay updated with the constantly revised regulations of the government.

  • Additionally, they may be required to provide training to either the manufacturers or incoming auditors on the importance of "in-house food safety practices."

What are the skills required?

While internships and having the regulations known by-heart, in other words being resourceful, is the most sought after skill in this field, a food safety auditor is preferred to have the following skills for a better advantage of tasting success:

  • The ability to work under pressure

  • Interested in constant learning to remain up-to-date on the regulations in the food safety industry devised by the FSSAI, India

  • Integrity, honesty, or transparency

  • Leadership skills

  • Ability to think on the feet

  • To be independent and proactive

  • Organization and good communication

Top colleges offering courses in Food Safety Auditing

There is no degree in India that directly offers graduation in Food Safety. This is more or less a professional certification that is an advancement of the degree or diploma already earned.

After a high school diploma, one could obtain bachelors in Agricultural Science, Nutrition, Chemistry, or other food science degrees. It would be to the added advantage of the candidate to pursue Masters in Quality Assessment or Regulatory Affairs.

Following are some of the institutions in India that offer certification or training in food safety, as an added feather to the graduation, received, in order to pursue a career in food safety practices:

  • Institute of Good Manufacturing Practices, India (IGMPI)

  • The British Standard Institution (BSI) based in India

  • Food Safety and Standard Authorities of India (FSSAI)

  • The SGS Group, Mumbai

  • The Exemplar Global, in association with ASQ

And many online pieces of training, that one could take part in India, provided by any other country, like the ASQ (United States of America) or the IRCA (Japan).

What is the Career scope of a Food Safety Auditor?

With a career established by the FSSAI in the year 2010, this career has already come into demand. Within the past decade, the career has become the most sought after amongst hotel management graduates, science graduates, the tourism industry, regulatory affairs, etc. With people interested to explore other people with hidden talents to bring them to light, food safety practices and health management needs to be a top priority.

How much does a Food Safety Auditor make?

In India, a fresh graduate working to gain experience (that is, an intern), could earn about 14,000 INR a month, provided the internship is government based. As an employee, a starting pay of about 20,000 INR a month can be expected. With experience and positional increments, the pay could go up to 40,000 INR a month.

Apart from the pay, if the employment is in the government sector, the candidate could be looking into privileges like reimbursement for travel, government housing, pension, etc.

Corporate salaries could go up to 85,000 INR a month, however, the perks may not be standard in every company. Senior positions at ISO fetch similar pay.

What are the Books and study material available?

There are books that would help an individual gain idea regarding the career, like:

  • The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety: A guide to a successful audit

  • PECB Examination Preparation Guide: For ISO 22000 Lead Auditor Post

  • Resources mentioned in the FSSAI website

  • Food Safety Officer FSSAI Exam + Food Corporation of India Job Preparation Course Books for FSSAI Exam

  • Food Safety Officer Exam: A Subjective Approach

Major Recruiters for Food Safety Auditors

The recruitment for the position of a food safety auditor is usually undertaken by the respective state authorities like the FSSAI. However, there are private companies that absorb employees as safety specialists. 

Depending on the graduation, the position offered to the candidate may differ. If the candidate is a high school graduate with certification in food safety systems, the employment would differ from that of a candidate with a Masters degree in Regulatory Affairs who holds a certification in food safety auditing.

There are some companies as well that hires food safety auditors such as

  • Oxypro Labs

  • TÜV NORD Group

  • Jay Bhavani Vadapav Pvt. Ltd.

  • Equinox Labs

  • Bureau Veritas India

Interesting facts

Per the FSSAI, the water, the food, and other restaurant conditions have to be rated in an audit and displayed at the entrance of the restaurant. However, with most online food delivery chains, in recent news, there were a few "fake" restaurants, which accepted orders and payments, that were recognized and had to be shut down.