Here are some of the costs that are not easily recognized when you talk about the food business.
1. Certification Costs
It is a way to show your commitment to food safety, business improvement, and customer satisfaction. The cost for certification will be dependent on the size and location of your business along with which food safety certification scheme you select. Poor compliance and audit performance can lead to added costs through an increase in audit frequency.
2. Good Supplier Management
The quality and safety of the raw materials that your supplier provides are what will keep or remove you from the food business. When you have poor suppliers, costs can add up when you have to constantly follow-up with issues, audit the suppliers, and face delays in production because of incorrect or sub-standard raw materials.
3. Cleaning Costs
Using clean equipment and food preparation premises are one of the basic food safety requirements. Cleaning costs can include chemicals, personnel, and cleaning equipment. Cleaning verification activities (like swab testing, dust clearance, and visual inspections) should also be considered especially when you have to check for allergens.
4. Training Costs
It is an integral part of keeping your workforce skilled and knowledgeable in food safety, food quality, and compliance matters. Introductory and refresher training should be accounted for both your food preparers as well as the contractors when considering food safety costs in your business.
5. Verification Activities
Never underestimate the cost of completing verification activities in the food business. Some of these costs can be:
- Chemical and micro testing for finished product
- Environmental swabs
- Water quality testing (micro and chemical)
- External equipment calibration
- External laboratory testing for shelf-life testing
6. Record Keeping
Regulatory authorities are now putting more and more emphasis on record keeping, not only for the food business to show due diligence but to also meet external certification requirements. The costs for filling out, collating, reviewing and retrieving records can be slightly reduced when using an electronic record system.
7. Specialised equipment
If you are supplying to certain customers, there may be the requirement to implement certain procedures that require the installation of specialized equipment. One common example of this food safety cost would be the use of metal detectors. Many of the big retailers require all of their branded food products to be passed through a metal detector as part of the production process.