What you need to know about CSI auditors
Anyone who owns hogs or hog buildings should expect a visit someday by an auditor who will conduct an animal-welfare and food-safety audit. Usually a packer or processor requests the audit, which is typically the Common Swine Industry (CSI) audit.
Any audit can be unnerving. But Collette Kaster and the group she represents want pork producers to know any CSI auditor standing at your door is ready for the job.
“Most important, pork producers need to feel comfortable that they are dealing with a professional. The auditor is properly trained and credentialed,” Kaster told Pig Health Today.
Kaster is executive director of the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO) and has experience in livestock and food-safety audits.
PAACO trains people to be auditors in livestock production. Swine auditors learn the CSI program, which was developed from the Pork Quality Assurance Plus program and packer audits, so the standards of the CSI audit should be familiar.
“PAACO does not set standards but bases our training around CSI,” Kaster said. “PAACO has background requirements before someone becomes an auditor. They need a combination of education and experience in swine. Then they go through training, pass an exam and do shadow audits with certified auditors.”
If an audit is imminent, she suggested producers gather their documents, including any related to medications, training programs, programs for zero tolerance of animal cruelty and emergency action plans.
These audits are important, Kaster said, because they demonstrate to downstream partners that the pork industry is listening and making changes. Most large packers already are required to have some kind of oversight of their plants, and now hog farms must follow.
For more information, watch the accompanying video.