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Independent Quality Assurance (IQA)

Clipboard with checklistImprove your Health Department scores and manage risk

Independent Quality Assurance (IQA) food safety audits from Safe Food Plus give an objective view of your retail food operations using Food Code and local Health Inspection standards combined with a professional pictorial-based report to assist in identifying problems before they happen.

IQA audits also help resolve issues that may have been uncovered during a previous Health Inspection.  By monitoring food safety systems and operations in between Health inspections, you’ll have time to make necessary adjustments and be ready the next time the Health Inspector visits.

How the IQA audit works

The initial assessment IQA audit takes about 3-4 hours on-site, then additional hours off-site putting together a professional, pictorial-based report that you can use as a tool and a reference.  This report not only grades your establishment on the same standards as the North Carolina Health Inspection, but we take it a step further.  Just like in sports, the harder you practice, the easier the game will be.  So we look at your establishment with a more critical eye.  Safe Food Plus supplements the report with pictures of what we saw, as well as recommended actions based on the Food Code and North Carolina Health Departments.

It’s then up to the establishment whether you want to partner with Safe Food Plus to continue IQA audits (unannounced, just like the Health Department).  These IQA audits can be monthly, quarterly, biannually or annually.  Whatever you feel best matches your needs and your budget.  These are as unobtrusive as possible, and usually last less than 2 hours.  Unlike a Health Inspector, we only make recommendations in the report.  This way your business is not interrupted and your staff can stay focused on the guest.


The National Restaurant Association has estimated that the average cost of a foodborne illness outbreak to an establishment is about $75,000. Lawsuits can result in the greatest cost due to attorney fees and possible monetary awards, and the negative media exposure and damage to reputation can take years to overcome.

That’s why the $395 cost of a one-time, no obligation initial assessment with full pictorial report and list of recommended actions is such a value.  There is no guarantee that a foodborne illness won’t still happen, but adding an additional set of eyes from a company whose sole purpose is to help you lower your risk and raise your Health Department score certainly makes sense.

Depending on how often you ask Safe Food Plus to show up for follow-up IQA audits, your ongoing investment can range from $265 per visit down to as low as $125 per visit, with most audits pricing at $175 per visit.  Each IQA audit comes with the same pictorial summary and recommended action plans as the initial assessment.

Safe Food Plus is ready to help your restaurant attain Independent Quality Assurance today. Contact us using our online contact form to the right or reach us by phone at 919-766-2676.