Plant Systems Audits

The Plant Systems Audit (PSA) program provides an unbiased, third party audit of a processor’s quality assurance system. The frequency and scope of the audits can be tailored to meet an applicant’s needs. AMS audits are conducted during actual production. This voluntary, user fee auditing service is available upon request and can allow a firm to gain objective information about the supplier. Processors may also request these services to gain an objective assessment of their own operations.

During the audit, AMS reviews a processor’s Food Safety Controls, Quality Management Systems, Personnel Policies, Good Manufacturing Practices, Sanitation, Pest Control, Packaging/Labeling, Inventory Practices, Recall/Return programs, and Food Defense.

In each area covered, AMS determines whether:

  1. the processor is performing all necessary procedures, inspections, and tests identified in their quality assurance program;
  2. the results of inspections and tests are documented;
  3. the system includes corrective action in the event of a non-conformance or test failure; and
  4. corrective action is taken and documented.
A plant representative accompanies the AMS auditor during the audit, and areas of concern are brought to the representative’s attention. At the conclusion of the audit, AMS conducts an exit interview with plant management to discuss the audit findings. A detailed report is provided to the applicant along with a certificate that displays the rating of the audit.
 
To apply for fruit and vegetable auditing services, contact the SCI Division, Audit Services Branch at:

Telephone: (202) 720-5021
Fax: (202) 260-8927
Email: FVAudits@ams.usda.gov

Additional Resources