· 4 min read
Inspired by Purpose: Working on the Front Lines of Global Food Safety
Candice, an auditor for food product certification, says that auditing fulfills her goal of doing mission-based work. “I'm beyond excited to be a part of a global organization that supports the health and safety of the food system! I always imagined myself becoming an auditor one day, and that dream has come true here at NSF.”
Halfway around the world in South Korea, Eric, a fellow auditor for NSF, says the opportunity to contribute to the welfare and safety of the public is what inspires him to show up every day. “My goal in life is to make people around me happy, so I was attracted to this job because of that. My job helps keep food and people safe, not just in South Korea, but around the globe.” Through his auditor position, Eric visits restaurants all over the country on behalf of major brands, helping to ensure that food safety is up to standard through detailed NSF audits.
As an auditor, for example, you check a restaurant’s overall workflow and facilities, from the restroom to the dining area to all of the kitchen appliances. You then collect and analyze the audit data and deliver it to the client, helping to keep employees and consumers safe while preventing incidents from occurring. This enables companies to improve food safety and maintain their brand reputation.
Eric says he loves using his knowledge and expertise to help clients make sure their food is safe and healthy. “My most memorable moment so far was when I was a food safety instructor for a pizza brand sold all over the world,” says Eric. “It was such an interesting experience to see their current working culture and find ways to strengthen food safety in their business. I got to work with many great people.”
At NSF, food auditors support our mission to protect human and global health by helping ensure food safety compliance for many of the leading retail brands in the industry. Their expertise and commitment to learning and acting with integrity provide the assurance brands need to drive a robust food safety, quality and standards program. Benefits include competitive compensation packages, bonuses and more. Take a look at our open positions in retail auditing and the numerous benefits a career in this field can offer.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be an NSF food auditor and what makes it such an appealing and empowering career.
One of the many perks of being an auditor is the ability to maintain a flexible schedule by working nights and weekends. Other perks include travel and having a firsthand glimpse of the hottest new food trends. Another bonus is performing virtual audits; select auditors can conduct audits for certain clients from home without having to travel to the facility.
Agility and Lifelong Learning
Keeping up to date with evolving auditing standards means that as an auditor, you’re a lifelong learner. In many cases, auditors may memorize what the standards and requirements are for each unique client. This helps them to perform better in the field. NSF follows an efficient, technology-based “audit as you go” approach. Auditors can enter audit reports on their phones and easily refer to the catalog for each requirement on their phones during an audit.
Sometimes, unforeseen issues arise in the food industry. A restaurant could have a gas leak or be dealing with a water main break, resulting in a postponement of their audit, so it’s important to be agile and have the ability to make quick decisions on the spot.
“Successful auditors can pivot easily, manage last-minute changes, make quick decisions on how to best replace audits and make the visit cost-efficient while delivering quality audits to the best of their ability,” says Kriti Saxena, Retail Audit Manager at NSF.
Time Management and Organizational Skills
Planning your schedule ahead of time, managing audits and considering the costs of travel are all part of an auditor’s time management. Knowledge of your region, including traffic, weather and other factors, also helps auditors to be efficient with their time. For example, in certain areas of the United States, such as Washington D.C., traffic plays a key role in planning and organizing schedules for auditors.
Managing various personalities in situations that can be challenging or stressful is a key priority for any auditor. “Stick to your standards” is a phrase that has become a mantra for retail auditors. It’s important to be real, be patient and keep to the requirements at hand.
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