Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation

Highest Reputation Content

#83519 BRC v 7 Gap analysis

Posted by agnes on 13 January 2015 - 02:47 PM

Hi there,


I am known to be impatient and I have done gap analysis between v6 and 7. Please help yourself to it. if any mistakes are found please let me know.



Attached Files

  • 6

#91342 2.5.1 Responsibility, Frequency, and Methods

Posted by ChocoTiger on 14 July 2015 - 08:37 PM



Here are generic examples of what is needed for,,, and  The programs I included in this are the prerequisite programs required by SQF.


Let me know if you need any additional help.



  • 5

#90966 Does anyone know what PIGS stand for?

Posted by Wine Gum on 07 July 2015 - 07:22 AM

The PIGS diagram can be used to formulate hazards comprehensively:


P- presence (qualitative and/or quantitative evaluation of presence of hazards)

I-Introduction (Likely occurrence of hazards and severity of their adverse health effects)

G - Growth (Production or persistence of foods of toxins, chemicals or physical agents)

S- Survival (Survival or multiplication of micro-organisms of concern)


Hope this helps!


Wine Gum

  • 5

#60958 Micro. Guidelines for Food Contact Surfaces

Posted by Charles.C on 30 April 2013 - 03:03 PM

Dear All,

I previously posted a table of various micro. guidelines for food contact surfaces which were mostly issued pre-2000 at this link –


To update the earlier info., the attached excel file presents guideline data I have accumulated for 12 countries issued in the period 2000 – 2012. The compilation demonstrates that for a range of food-related scenarios, some “average” opinions for various (just) cleaned surfaces are –

(a) For Aerobic Plate Count (APC) - the majority of data suggests that, for routine cleaning/sanitising, surfaces typically have maximum APC counts in the range 10-100cfu/cm2 .
(b) For factors like Coliform, (generic) E.coli, Enterobacteriaceae, S.aureus, the expected maxima are, predictably, low, eg 1-10 cfu/cm2, or undetected. The latter requirement also invariably applies for “zero-tolerance” pathogenic microbial species.

Hopefully of some interest. Further input / comments welcome as usual.

Attached File  Compilation of International Micro. Guidelines for food contact surfaces, 2000 onwards.xls   993KB   2882 downloads

Rgds / Charles.C

  • 5

#96805 Food Safety Morality

Posted by mgourley on 21 December 2015 - 10:30 PM

A lot of us have spent many hours writing policy to make sure that what we do is the right thing to do.

A lot of us have made sure that senior management is aware of said policy, and they always have input into the final product. We may go so far as to include approved exceptions.

Once they approve, or give tacit approval, that document states what we do in a certain situation. 


That policy, procedure, whatever, then governs how "all" people act when that particular situation arises.

After the fact is not the time for higher ups to decide that the policy does not need to be followed.


Make your objections known, CYA, and move on. You are exactly right. You do not want to set precedent. If you do, what's the point in this rule, or that policy?



  • 4

#91444 VACCP Risk Assessment

Posted by trubertq on 16 July 2015 - 03:39 PM

Since Storage and distribution is not my area I don't feel qualified to answer however I'm sure some one on here can help him.


I'd imagine his customers are looking for verification that his goods haven't been tampered with or substituted, as well as trying to pass the buck of VACCP onto him.....


I'd suggest going to his suppliers and requesting THEIR VACCP risk assessment and then add in his steps in the chain with his risk assessment.

  • 4

#86325 What is a Verification Schedule?

Posted by fgjuadi on 05 March 2015 - 08:41 PM

2.5.3 is your verification schedule,  I use this for verification activities - Verify the metal detector is working every 30 minutes .  Verify chemical concentration every morning via titration.


Internal audits go on 4.5.2 (Validation schedule)


To make it easier, I combine the 2.5.3 form with 2.5.1 (methods and responsibilities) and 2.5.4 (Verification of monitoring activities) .   Basically it's a chart with each monitoring and verification activity, frequency, and responsibility.

So maybe the QA Manager checks the visitor log once a week, but they only conduct a food defense audit annually.  The check goes on verification of monitoring, the audit goes on validation.


It can get very "fuzzy" as SQF does not dictate which activity is which. I attached copies of both if it will help - but don't be surprised if you get some different answers.


  • 4

#83199 Apology to Mr I from Mr IFSQN

Posted by Simon on 07 January 2015 - 09:44 PM

Over the last couple of day's it has become clear to me that I have made an almighty cock-up on MOTM and caused Mr I a huge injustice.


Mr I received the most reputation points in December (by a distance), but I did not award him MOTM because I (mistakenly) thought that once a member had won MOTM they could not win it again. When I checked the rules yesterday I realised I was wrong and a member can win it once per calendar year. I thought that was just an unfortunate, but simple mistake I had made.


However, (to my horror) I have now realized that MR I has NEVER won MOTM...I would have put my mortgage on that he had previously won it. To make matters worse it is likely that in previous months Mr I has scored the highest reputation points and won MOTM and I have overlooked him.


The upshot is I have dealt Mr I a real injustice and I am totally at fault and I have passed on my sincere apologies.  Thankfully Mr I has graciously accepted my apology.


For the record Mr I did not want me to publish this apology, but I want to because it is right to do so. We have some great members around here and Mr I is one of them.


To this end MR I is the first ever recipient of the annual Member of the Year award.   Apart from the title there will be some sort of badge of honour, but I’m working on that…ideas?




  • 4

#81054 Micro testing for compressed air (used on food equipment)

Posted by Charles.C on 18 November 2014 - 06:42 PM

Dear Laura,


Thank you for the detailed reply. Much appreciated. I have expanded a little on some of the comments in yr post / links.




I looked at  2 viewpoints, SQF/BCAS, on some desirable Quality characteristics of Compressed Air -

Purity is defined in the SQF Code (Appendix 2: Glossary) and means the absence of contaminants that could cause a food safety hazard. Pure air means the air is free of risk of cross-contamination to the products. Essentially, the air must not contribute any contamination to the product.


Strictly, use of the word “contamination”  as defined by SQF implies that  micro.standards based solely on APC limits could be regarded as safety (ie haccp) meaningless. (In a cleanroom context the situation would likely be rather different,  limits derived for sterile scenarios are in some articles recommended as not being arbitrarily transferred into the food scene without due caution).


Similarly to SQF, BCAS implicitly defines contaminants in its introduction via -


Contaminants that may be a potential hazard in food for human consumption

In the context of the BCAS COP, hazard is presumably interpreted as safety hazard. On this basis, some difficulties also arise IMO, eg - 

The BCAS Food Grade Compressed Air, A Code of Practice states,

"6.2 Microbiological contaminants.

HACCP shall establish the risk of contamination by microbiological contaminants. The level of viable microbiological contaminants in the compressed air shall not be detectable using the method described in clause 7.6." Clause 7.6 refers to ISO 8573-7 test method for viable microbiological contaminant content.


The word "detectable" suggests that any microbial species other than what is (somehow) defined as "natural"  to the specific product have zero tolerance. This seems inconsistent with basic haccp principles. Unless a list of accepably non-hazardous species exists ?


This post primarily focuses on micro. “B” factors, the “C, P” hazards are well over-viewed in the SQF faq (see Excel file/sheet3 below) and the Code’s Guidance documents, eg for parts 2/11.


I have done a little background searching regarding standards, micro.species, filters, etc and pasted some selected extracts into the attached excel book (the earlier studies in this area seem a little neglected these days, maybe justifiably :smile: ) . Most of the content will probably be (only too) familiar to you of course.


The source files are attached below, keyed to the excel sheet numbers.


Attached File  Compilation regarding Micro.Standards,etc for env. air,compressed air,filters in food plants.xls   1.48MB   394 downloads


Attached File  sh1 - microbiological air quality.pdf   489.76KB   506 downloads

Attached File  sh4 - Compressed-Air-in-the-Food-and-Beverage-Industry.pdf   3.82MB   382 downloads

Attached File  sh4.1 - food industry compressed air systems,white-paper.pdf   196.81KB   265 downloads

Attached File  sh5 - compressed air in food plants,white paper,Parker Balston.pdf   522.15KB   255 downloads

Attached File  sh6 - ECFF.pdf   402.26KB   270 downloads

Attached File  sh7 - tesco standard 2014.pdf   1.15MB   326 downloads

Attached File  sh8 - air filtration systems.pdf   193.62KB   282 downloads


Rgds / Charles


PS - Two/three of the above documents are already in the thread linked in post 2 above. I re-used them to allow some convenient integration.


The mystery (to me) of why SQF's faq (typically) refers to 0.1micron filters whereas the guidance document specifies 0.01 micron remains. Nonetheless, if the cost/maintenance/implementation factors are comparable (?), the latter seems a logical investment for an easy audit (also see sheet5 in Excel file). For current purposes i assumed the faq is more "maintained" than the guidance and "acted accordingly". :smile:


PPS - the extensive collection of TA documents available via Laura's links in previous post(s) are remarkable and valuable. Highly recommended for browsees. :thumbup:


P3S – for those interested here are 5 more links, the first two look at typical air sampling devices/procedures (mainly food/cleanroom respectively), the next 3 focus on micro.aspects/standards  as applied in pharmaceutical, cleanroom, sterile work scenarios. The similarities to concepts used (borrowed?) in the food business is clear but there are also significant differences in emphasis, eg the interest in viable/non-viable particles.




http://www.fda.gov/o...ug Products.htm



  • 4

#79737 BRC Global Standard for Packaging V5

Posted by cazyncymru on 23 October 2014 - 01:33 PM

Just released for draft consultation


Caz x

  • 4

#73564 IQA Salary Survey

Posted by cazyncymru on 09 June 2014 - 09:04 AM

I agree with Slab, yes I get paid more, but I don't just deal with Food Safety; under my umbrella comes Environment & Health & Safety!


Food Safety has changed so much in the last 14 years. I think its changed a lot in the last 5 years and if i'm honest, unfortunately (controversial statement coming), not all Quality Professionals have evolved along the way. Some times I see questions on here, and whilst we all have to start somewhere, I despair. I hold my head in my hands, wondering are they really serious or are they trolls! It does make me somewhat reluctant to respond to some post(ers). It would seem that some people are either unable to think for themselves or unwilling to! To be a quality professional you have to have at least a basic knowledge and I know it is difficult, but please if you haven't had a formal education in food safety, at least read a few books and try to learn something!


I think that we have now become more focussed in assessing risks with risk assessments becoming the backbone of a food safety system. As things have evolved, we are being asked to carry out more and more risk assessments; even if it doesn't truly affect our industry (I think Acrylamide!). Thing is, who's teaching people to do these risk assessments? And who taught them? their all subjective! as long as you can justify how you reached that conclusion, who's to say your right or wrong! In the latest version of the BRC, we are asked to carry out a vulnerability risk assessment. Now I work predominantly in Dairy, and I have interpreted this in risk assessing from the farm to the fork, so my study incorporates animal health as well as abuse by the customer. I'm lucky that in a previous life, I was involved in doing Farm Assurance, so I understand about what can potentially happen on the farm; but I bet I'm in the minority. We're asking quality professionals to assess something they may not have any idea about, and this is where mistakes can be made.


I also think we've become inundated with consultants. I probably get a request daily from either a consultant or a recruiter on LinkedIn!! If I need help I will ask, and if I want a new job, I'm sure I can find one myself! ( I've never used an agency to find a job)


So, those are my thoughts,  I'm sure many will disagree.



  • 4

#93901 Is there a situation where this would be ok?

Posted by Simon on 30 September 2015 - 08:03 PM

In answer to your question and emphatic NO!.


The minimum correction would be to dispose of the directly affected product (all of it) and clean, inspect, clean, inspect until you are satisfied there is no possibility of further contamination. Plus ensure that rodents are prevented as a matter of urgency.  In the meantime store things off the floor or move them.


Your management need to read the food safety news PCA.  


Mice can carry pathogenic organisms that if transferred to food could KILL!


Those involved with PCA never meant to kill, they just could not see the risk, it wasn't in their hands, not in front of their faces unlike their balance sheets.


I'd blow the whistle on them, get fired or take constructive dismissal and sue their ass off.


I don't envy your position Emily.




  • 3

#91467 IFSQN Launches Member of the Month (MOTM) Program

Posted by Setanta on 17 July 2015 - 12:20 PM

When might my full lifetime membership rewards be reactivated?  I haven't been able to edit or message for quite some time.



"The IFSQN provide a wealth of free services for our members including a vibrant discussion forums, blogs, news, files, newsletters, weekly training webinars and conferences. All of these are provided free of charge; however, some areas and features of the website are locked to guests and new members and require Premium Membership in order to access.

Our flexible, low cost upgrade service allows you to fast track your account and gain instant access to all website features including:

* Premium Files Library
* Use of Personal Messaging
* Profile Editing
* Signature Editing"


  • 3

#90767 How to do a trend analysis for pests?

Posted by MWidra on 01 July 2015 - 12:41 PM

Hi Emily:


We have baitless traps inside the buildings.  For the outside, we have bait stations (the bait is primarily for rodents and contains a rodenticide) to provide a food source for rodents that are close to the building that will control the population and keep them from looking for forage inside the building.


We are located in a rural area, there are farm fields and hedgerows next to our site.  There will always be mice nearby, due to the location.  We want to control the population that has expanded closer to our building.  We also discourage the rodents through large sized gravel up to the sides of the buildings where possible.  Mice don't like to walk on big gravel chunks.


All this was set up with the advice of a professional pest control service, who handles other food facilities, so I trust their judgment. 


Your location and needs might require a different system, so I would follow what your pest control professional has recommended.  Ours works, we never see mice in the production building.


Hope that helps.



  • 3

#87786 2.5.1 - 2.5.4 SQF System Verification

Posted by erin.m.v on 13 April 2015 - 11:50 PM

Hi Suzie,


Here are the documents that I use to cover 2.5.1 through 2.5.4:

  • - SQF Practitioner Description and SQF System Review Process
  • - Internal Auditing Program, SQF System Review Process, and Validation and Effectiveness (table)
  • - Document Management Policy
  • - SQF System Review Process, and Validation and Effectiveness (table)
  • - Document Management Policy
  • - Monitoring and Verification Activities (table) and Monitoring and Verification Sections within program, policy, process, etc. documents
  • - Receiving Program, Shipping Program, Equipment Calibration Policy, Pest Control Program, Foreign Matter Control Policy, and Complaint Handling Process
  • - Trailer inspection sheet used for receiving, trailer inspection sheet used for shipping, calibration logs and records, Pest Sighting Log, Breakage Report, Complaint Information Sheet, and Document Management Policy

To summarize our monitoring and verification activities, and validation methods for the auditor (and it's an easy reference for me), I created tables within a Word document with summaries of information that is, in most cases, already covered in a program document:

  • For our "Monitoring and Verification Activities" document (Attached File  Monitoring & Verification Activities.pdf   365.58KB   637 downloads), I used the following column headings:  Food Safety Fundamental, Related Facility Program, Related Document(s), Verification Guidance, Who Performs Monitoring Function?, Who Conducts Verification?, How is Verification Documented?, and Verification Frequency. 
  • For our "Validation and Effectiveness, Methods and Metrics" document (Attached File  Validation and Effectiveness, Methods & Metrics.pdf   242.2KB   526 downloads), I used the following column headings:  Food Safety Fundamental, Related Facility Program, Validation Method, Program Effectiveness Metrics, Frequency of Validation, and Documentation (of validation). 
  • The Food Safety Fundamentals that I have listed as rows in both tables:  Personnel Practices, Training of Personnel, Calibration of Equipment, Management of Pests and Vermin, Premises and Equipment Maintenance, Cleaning, Monitoring Water Microbiology and Quality, Control of Physical Contaminants, Waste Management and Disposal, Allergen Control, Transport and Delivery, and Food Safety.

I hope that helps you some.  Just so you know, this has all been reviewed by two different auditors during both our certification and first recertification audits, and we did not have any problems with them. 


All the best,

- erin -

  • 3

#83012 Drink Containers on Plant Floor (CGMP)

Posted by it_rains_inside on 05 January 2015 - 04:27 PM

I am new to this , but doesnt this border on micro management ? Controlling the smallest portions of an employees actions? We are still humans after all not machines and drinking fluids is a need not a want for the human body . I think it borders right up there with putting a time clock on the bathroom door. No proffesional with a degree would be treated that way why should any factory worker ? even employees at mcdonalds and walmart and such jobs have drinks on the floor and go to the restroom as needed , 


as long as production and factory streamlining are managed well , theres no reason to need to manage drinking water . even an animal is given a water bowl after all !





Dear jherculees1, 

:welcome:  to IFSQN!


While you do make a valid point on trying to retain employee liberties, you will see through aspects of the GFSI certification process that many things  happening in food processing / food container manufacturing are controlled. From what you wear to what/ how you can consume food or beverages on the floor. This GMP is deeply rooted in contamination risks. What risk is there that an employee may spill a beverage on food contact material? Or in a product? Or continue the spread of germs from the mouth onto the hand (when re-capping a beverage container) 


If you can demonstrate control over the risks - then I would say doing whatever you want is fair game. If you cannot demonstrate how you are controlling these risks ( i.e. because you cannot) then you must find a solution that still satisfies the original goal but mitigates the known risks. 


Edit** It is our jobs to fully understand the requirements that have been set (whether that be internal policy, local legislation or GFSI standards) AND to help the floor employees understand why these rules exist. Without the "why" they are just rules....... "We do not allow personal beverage containers on the production floor because of a risk of contamination to the products, BUT you can consume these products in the designated break areas, and we do have water fountains available on the floor"  

  • 3

#78179 Food Safety Bloopers

Posted by Charles.C on 20 September 2014 - 03:55 PM

Dear All,


A Snippet for Weekend Viewers.


Here are a  few FS audit bloopers I saw compiled recently –


  • The Food Dense Plan is attached.
  • All visitors were a hair net.
  • The floor person exposes it.
  • On the east side of the building, there is a whole in the fence.
  • The company will ensure properly installed ducks
  • There was condensation on the duck work
  • Records will be helped for a minimum of two years.
  • Employees will take packers places for restroom breaks.
  • To ensure safety, hair must be retrained
  • Product is for cooking and consumption by the general public and for banking.
  • Temperatures must be taken every 15 minuets in (F)
  • Due to cross contamination, all adjacent equipment must be re-cleaned after brain cleaning.
  • The Practitioner as responsible for stuff.


Rgds / Charles.C

  • 3

#76624 Floor Pans / separating equipment from the floor

Posted by SpursGirl on 11 August 2014 - 06:51 PM

Hi Magenta


I faced a similar issue with decanting into pails from IBC's  - and I ended up using grated racks for bucket stands  that are kind of like cooling racks for cakes (see picture below). These racks are visually different and in my GMP's these are defined as floor bucket stands only.



Hope that helps!



  • 3

#73583 IQA Salary Survey

Posted by Snookie on 09 June 2014 - 03:30 PM

Food Safety has changed so much in the last 14 years. I think its changed a lot in the last 5 years and if i'm honest, unfortunately (controversial statement coming), not all Quality Professionals have evolved along the way. Some times I see questions on here, and whilst we all have to start somewhere, I despair. I hold my head in my hands, wondering are they really serious or are they trolls! It does make me somewhat reluctant to respond to some post(ers). It would seem that some people are either unable to think for themselves or unwilling to! To be a quality professional you have to have at least a basic knowledge and I know it is difficult, but please if you haven't had a formal education in food safety, at least read a few books and try to learn something!


So, those are my thoughts,  I'm sure many will disagree.




I not only agree, don't think you went far enough.  So many are clueless about what is involved in food safety and quality.  They think anyone can do it....until something goes wrong and then it is always the fault of quality department.    It is still amazing to me how many people think that the quality of the product or the company is dependent on the quality department.  All too often I feel like the little dutch boy trying to plug all of the holes, without enough fingers and with lots of other people making new holes.  


I definitely don't make enough money.......

  • 3

#61280 Think outside the box for HACCP success

Posted by Simon on 12 May 2013 - 07:13 PM

Think outside the box for HACCP success
Amanda Evans, Certified Auditor and Trainer, HACCP Mentor.

The purpose of this presentation is to educate participants on how critical thinking can be applied to the management of food safety within their food business. Critical thinking involves the participant looking past the “obvious” to ultimately prevent and manage food safety issues. Thinking “outside the box” can move a food business past basic compliance into achieving an exceptional level of business improvement, innovation and growth. The session will focus on how to apply critical thinking to three core areas, namely, complaint investigations, root cause analysis and hazard identification and assessment.

If you have a question related to this presentation please post it below.



<<Link to the Webinar recording>>

  • 3