What to expect at your Verification
If you are about to be verified. Here's what you should expect on your Verification
The Food Act 2014 encourages businesses to take responsibility for the food safety in their business. Verifiers play a role in educating businesses about what this means. For cafe's and restaurants MPI has identified the following top 5 food safety factors to help you minimise risk. These are the areas your verifier will focus on.
- Get the right training – know how to keep food safe.
- Clean and sanitise – to stop germs spreading.
- Cook and store food at the right temperature.
- Keep cooked, raw and allergen food separate.
- Wash your hands properly.
If you are using Safe Food Pro in another type of business e.g. pre-made chilled/frozen foods, bakeries etc you can check out the 5 factors that are relevant to your business here.
A verifier will be interested in the ‘Show’ and 'Know' sections of your Food Control Plan. They are looking for 'safe and suitable food' rather than just compliance. The exact verification process differs from council to council, agency to agency but in general the verifier is likely to:
- Check documentation - check you are complying with the relevant parts of the FCP for your business. e.g. if you cook poultry you cook it according to the Yellow - Making + Cooking sections.
- Check you are following procedures and keeping records.
- Check that you are doing what you say you are doing. They may do this by talking to your staff to make sure they understand how things should be done or by observing what people actually do.
- Check equipment and the environment, especially cleaning, where these are important for the safety and suitability of the food.
What do the Staff need to know?
Your verifier may ask your staff questions about the food safety procedures they follow (Know and Do). It's important to make sure staff are prepared for the verification as much as you are. Staff could be expected to:
- Explain Allergens in the menu
- Show cleaning methods
- Explain their cooking methods, how they check temperatures etc and why they are doing it.
Once your verification is complete you can update your next verification date in the 'My Business' section. When your 'next verification date' is updated then it will appear as a 'Bucket' on your dashboard, counting down till your next verification. This way you can monitor how long you've got until your next verification and ensure you are fully prepared.
Note: We love hearing about how your verification went, so if you want to keep us in the loop flick us a message sharing your verification results!