Step 1: The operation should read the risk assessment criteria carefully and check off the appropriate boxes as the assessment is carried out for each of the items, areas, etc. that pertain to their operation. The assessment is site-specific as it is dependent on factors such as commodity, equipment, facility, and the operation’s procedures.
Step 2: Once the operation’s risks have been determined, each listed section of the manual will be assessed to determine if the procedures that are already in place, are adequately controlling the identified risk. During the audit, the auditor will verify the provided documentation through observation of the premises and records and by interviewing the person responsible for the operation and for the EMP (risk assessment).
Based on the risk assessment, each operation will determine whether there is a need to take further measures (e.g., swabbing, testing) to confirm the cleanliness of the environment or the effectiveness of sanitation. It may be possible to conclude from the risk assessment that a sampling plan is NOT necessary. In that case, the auditor will verify the justification for this decision during the audit through interviewing, observation and review of records.