About the inspection
In the Oiva system, the food control authorities evaluate the food safety of companies during their inspections. The inspections are conducted in accordance with a control plan. Depending on the extent and risk-based nature of operations, some companies may be inspected several times a year, but some, for example, only once in three years. The Oiva reports are published as the inspections are conducted.
Inspections are primarily carried out without any advance notification, because the purpose is to inspect current operations in a company. The Oiva system makes the inspection procedures more uniform as the food inspectors around Finland conduct the inspection in accordance with the same Oiva evaluation guidelines.
Issues to be checked
The Oiva system has resulted in focusing on the risk-based nature of a company’s operations. Some of the issues to be inspected have been deemed as having a high food-safety risk, and such items are inspected often, for example, during every inspection visit. Other matters are inspected at the discretion of the inspector at least once every three years or if any deficiencies are detected in these matters during an inspection. A deficiency is a matter which does not conform with the food legislation and which the operator must rectify.
The matters that must be checked are divided into topical areas which include the matters related to a topical area. For example, the topical area “Actions of personnel” includes “Hand hygiene” as an issue to be checked. The topical areas have been presented in more detail on this page.
A company’s inspection frequency is affected by the company’s operations and their scope. Operations can be detailed by asking the question “what does the company do”. Scope of operations takes the company’s size into consideration. This is why companies have a varying inspection frequency and a different number of published Oiva reports.
If the inspected company has received an evaluation grade of To be corrected or Poor for a specific issue, the inspector will always carry out a new inspection in the company. During the repeat inspection, at minimum, it will be checked that the observed deficiency has been rectified. A previously given grade will remain valid, until the inspector states during a repeat inspection that the deficiency has been rectified. If the deficiency has not been rectified by the specified date, a weaker grade can be given. After a repeat inspection, a new Oiva report will be published showing the possible changes in the grades. When the grades are Excellent or Good, the inspector inspects the company in accordance with the control plan.