After obtaining her B.Sc. in poultry science from the University of Florida and serving in the meat and poultry industry, Trish began her career in food safety in 1997 as director of process and product development at ABC Research Corporation in Gainesville, FL. In 2004, she joined SGS, Consumer Testing Services, as the regional operations director for the Americas until 2009 when she became director of food safety systems for Eurofins Scientific. She is a Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance Lead Instructor for Human Foods, an International HACCP Alliance Instructor and is currently President of her own consulting company, PA Wester Consulting, where she utilizes her broad experience in food safety testing and accredited certification auditing to support her food industry client base through the complexities of Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) implementation. In 2017, she launched the Association for Food Safety Auditing Professionals, a 501(C)(3) trade association to provide a platform to support the food safety auditing community. 
She is active on numerous committees and councils, including as a member of the Food Safety Summit Education Advisory Board, and past Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Auditor Competence and Global Regulatory Affairs Technical Working Groups.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Trish Wester about:

  • The types of audits conducted within the food industry and how they differ
  • How exacting standards for third-party auditing became part of FSMA
  • How FSMA implementation will change the way that auditing has always been performed
  • Auditing for food safety preventive controls vs. the robust systems that already exist for HACCP
  • What it will take to create audits that are as robust and viable as the ones that were performed pre-FSMA
  • How food plants are adapting to preventive controls rules in light of FSMA implementation and compliance deadlines
  • Apparent gaps in how FDA has structured FSMA regulations
  • How companies are working to meet FSMA compliance deadlines in a relatively short period of time
  • What happens when an auditor does not have specific training and experience in the food sector they’re evaluating
  • What kinds of skills should a qualified auditor possess
  • How scoring of audits works
  • The challenges of training an auditor to be well-versed in all FDA-regulated food sectors

News Mentioned in This Episode
FDA Agrees to Enforce Menu Labeling Rule in May 2018
Office of the Inspector General: FDA Must Boost Efficiency
CFIA Funding to further DNA-Based Research with University of Guelph

Bob Ferguson's Food Safety Insights Articles:
Food Safety Insights: The New Face of Sanitation Programs: New Rules, New Challenges (October/November 2017)
Food Safety Insights: A Look at the Microbiology Testing Market (February/March 2017)
Food Safety Insights: The Drivers of Differences in Food Safety Testing Practices (April/May 2017)
Food Safety Insights: What Industry and FDA Are Thinking About FSMA Implementation (June/July 2017)
Food Safety Insights: A Closer Look at Environmental Monitoring in the Processing Plant (August/September 2017)

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