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Transitioning from Food Safety Regulator to Third Party Auditor

Learn about the similarities and differences between food safety regulators and third party auditors.

Businesswoman using virtual visual screen

February 27, 2021

Emily Costlow, one of UL Everclean’s® newest food safety auditors, joined UL in November and is assigned to the Southern California region. She may be relatively new to UL Everclean® but she comes with plenty of food safety experience as a former health inspector with Orange County Environmental Health where she obtained her Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) certification. In this article, she discusses her experience transitioning from her role as a regulator to that of an auditor and how it changed her view on partnership and food safety. Here is Costlow with a few words:

“First of all, I want to thank UL Everclean® with providing me this opportunity to become a Food Safety Auditor. As a previous regulator, you approach inspections with a sense of duty to identify what is deemed unhealthy so you can inform the public of risks when they are choosing where they want to dine for the night. With UL, I have realized we are doing more than that. We are not only conscious of public safety, but we are also there to be a partner for our customers. When a violation is noted, it’s not just reported, it is investigated to identify root causes to ensure the partner understands the issue and potential risks involved. The better we and the partner understand the issue, the more dependable the corrective action plans are and the better we can identify a potential solution.

Another difference between being a regulator and a partner I have noticed is that the relationships built are much stronger. When you are a regulator, you may go into your facilities about two or three times a year. Opposed to UL, where the audits are much more frequent. This allows for the auditor to build those strong relationships with our partners to really understand their processes, wants and needs. All in all, I have been impressed with the quality of audits UL provides. We really try to be a partner rather than an enforcer, approaching audits as opportunities to train rather than just a scored inspection. I’m looking forward to continuing to learn what UL has to offer.“

Costlow is a perfect example of how UL Everclean’s® hiring strategy is to onboard individuals who possess the regulatory experience but also the interpersonal skills and passion for food safety education that makes them an invaluable partner. Outstanding auditors exemplify two qualities that are key and essential for becoming true partners: approachability and adaptability. These two qualities break down communication barriers and allow positive interactions between an auditor and the teams they audit. It creates an environment focused on food safety and not “us versus them.” We are fortunate to have Emily join our team!

UL’s Everclean® Solutions Newsletter - March Edition

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