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#26 Cathy

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 01:32 PM

Very nicely said GMO ! Posted Image


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#27 Charles.C

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 08:52 AM

And I'm still wondering what this "company" was making - artificial food ?? :biggrin:

Rgds / Charles.C


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#28 Q.A.

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 09:29 PM

Our audit was certainly not as you described. The sad thing for you is after the 3rd audit the auditor must change, then you might find yourself with several issues to correct....that would be the time to really complain! For now just keep on following the requirements and stay the path - frustrating as it might be!:thumbup:


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#29 vonsigler

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 03:05 PM

Heather your point is well taken. An Audit should provide value added feedback that can be use to improve processes. When our organization became ISO certified I used the "oppurtunities for improvement" as continous improvement goals. That made me happy and the auditor the next time they came. It is really disappointing when an Audit is performed without the value added improvement suggestions. I would request a different auditor the next time with the goal of getting a different opinion of your processes. :thumbup:


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#30 John Antecki

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 06:05 PM

My Plant has their audits February and March, and after all the work put in i would hate to be let down, like wise i want to pass, but not at all with any sense of incompleteness on the part of the auditor.i feel for you, The implementing SQF 2000 training i went to was done by a third party auditing that audits SQF 2000 and micro lab company, and i thought they were for lack of a better word failing because the didn't seem to have any straight forward answers for my questions, i started to think they just didn't know the code very well.


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#31 Simon

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 09:56 PM

My Plant has their audits February and March, and after all the work put in i would hate to be let down, like wise i want to pass, but not at all with any sense of incompleteness on the part of the auditor.i feel for you, The implementing SQF 2000 training i went to was done by a third party auditing that audits SQF 2000 and micro lab company, and i thought they were for lack of a better word failing because the didn't seem to have any straight forward answers for my questions, i started to think they just didn't know the code very well.

Which Certification Body are you considering using John?
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#32 MQA

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 10:59 AM

Hi HeatherH

An SQF Auditor is SUPPOSED to talk to employees. It is part of SQF that employees have a sound understanding of HACCP and Goof Manufacturing Practices. The only way to validate this is discussion with some of the employees to ensure they are simply not following their supervisors.

I'd be cheesed off too! But all the same, congratulations on all the hard work you did. Whether you realised it at the time of training or not, I'm sure it now makes your job a whole lot easier now (well, I hope so!).

Good luck with the next auditor.


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#33 bacon

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:58 PM

Dear Heather and all,

Very good comments from all.

Here is my 2 cents worth: the company I was working with to pass their last SQF audit with flying colors (well, not a %100) was about as Heather described: poor and sloppy. So I didn't really celebrate. Gives the food packer a false sense of security. I was pretty upset about the ordeal.

I understand that having a very complex processing facility with many different categories and products is allot to get through but our auditor finished up a 3 day audit in 2. I did present the code in a very logical and easy way with very little scrambling for documents (this sped up the audit), but one would think the auditor would spend more time on the floor... however, floor observation times are not specified by SQF (vs. BRC have very specific instructions on how time the auditor must spend out on the floor observing operations).

What frustrates me is the lack of consistency between 3rd party auditors, thus one gets inconsistent guidance in final audit reports. One would think passing the audit, one's food safety systems are sound and tried true, however, because of the inconsistency, one really does not know (i.e. our auditor did not comment or even verify if we did our traceability test even though a traceability exercise is not the same as a mock recall) how the next auditor will interpret clause requirements. The final report, IMO, will be just as useless as the past one: really giving no guidance for the future (in the past I was used to well written BRC reports for future guidance).

The auditor missed some very large gaping holes that could be found with little effort, if they audited correctly. Fortunately, the company I was worked with is correcting many of the holes the auditor missed (effective lot tracking, observational RTE food sanitation procedures, observational raw vs. cooked RTE product "proximity" separation). This is all very serious stuff.

Make me wonder why the Sunland, Inc peanut company recall... it got SQF (level 3) certified before their September 2012 recall... 5 months worth of production! And every ice-cream, granola, etc company it supplied to... Uff!

http://www.ifsqn.com...ntarily-recall/

If audit integrity is not maintained with watered down GFSI benchmark 3rd party auditors: what is there to assure that that salmon farmer in Chili is producing safe food in things not readily apparent (feed quality), that Shrimp Farmer in Thailand, or that distribution company moving RTE food in California?


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#34 George @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:08 PM

Baron

This thread centres on a number of core issues regarding the management of food safety and in particular the role of 3rd party certification. As the popularity of certification increases (Walmart, FSMA) there is emerging a major question - where will all these auditors come from? Moreover where will all these competent auditors come from? Many professionals get into the field of auditing towards the latter stages of their careers. This is good thing since they bring experience to the role but it is not a life long vocation.

The IFS has introduced new requirements for auditor competency which further reduces the available pool of competent auditors for specific product categories. The volume of certification audits is increasing dramatically and the pool of competent auditors is not keeping pace. This will undoubtedly lead to an increase in the variation of audits and audit outcomes.

IMO this will require initiaitives to attract younger professionals into the career of food safety auditor and this will take time.

Interestingly, a respected journalist from a respected newspaper asked the question what did BRC certification represent in a food plant linked to the horse-meat in beef burgers debacle in Europe. Good question! Failures of this scale in a BRC certified plant damages the credibility of the scheme (at least in the eyes of non food techy individuals)

If there is a rock upon which 3rd party certification will perish it will be events like the horse meat issue. Public failures in 3rd party certified plants will do damage. This is why variation in auditors, the audit process and audit outcomes will only damage confidence in the 3rd party certification tool.

The Retailers, National Accreditation Bodies, Certification Bodies and the GFSI will need to address this before 3rd party certification follows the long and depressing path of the ISO 9000...IMO


George


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#35 Setanta

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:46 PM

As I mentioned in another thread where HACCP Mentor asked our thoughts about auditors, it sometimes seems that food safety is not what the auditors are looking for. The 'no consulting thing' has really stuck in my head.

"I was having a discussion with my Plant Manager and we had a question, borne from our experiences.

Our auditor noticed some cracks in the concrete of the perimeter in the cooler and freezer. We assemble frozen foods from pre-cooked ingredients. They marked it as a minor and we were told we need to fix it. Although we struggled with what could be an issue especially in our freezer, we agreed.

When we asked if we could do "X" to remove the minor and the auditor said they could not tell us what would fix the problem as that would be consulting, isn't that at odds with the objective of keeping Food Safe? If there truly was a direct hazard to Food would they use the 'can't consult' to keep us guessing?

It seems very counter-productive."

A bit grumpy this afternoon...
S.


Edited by Setanta, 06 February 2013 - 10:46 PM.

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#36 bacon

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:53 PM

Agreed Mr. Howlett.

before 3rd party certification follows the long and depressing path of the ISO 9000...IMO

See a very vocal John Seddon in the UK about depressing path of the ISO 9000: my thoughts exactly.

-Baron
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#37 john123

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:06 PM

I'm one to agree with the others that this was not an appropriate audit... First thing that really jumps out at me is the discussion of levels. We were required to declare what level we were attempting to acheive, namely because levels one, two and three all have different criteria. There's things that are required for level three that don't even need to be addressed in level one. There is no opportunity to be upgraded or downgraded, your audit level does not depend on your score, you tell them up front "this is the level we are aiming for" and you're graded against it.

The employee interviews I could go either way on. During our audit they talked to two employees on the floor: one as general sort of "do you know why you're doing things this way" question really quickly, the other only really occurred because he didn't believe something that we (management) told him. And if you have proper training documents on everything, there's a point where the interview gets redundant. However, our auditor did spend a solid 5 hours on the floor during our two day audit. "Oooh, we haven't seen that area yet" was muttered by him several times as he wandered from production line to production line.

Lastly, our auditors (yes, pair of them) spent about 45 minutes on the last day alone to finalize the score, then sat down with us and gave us our score and reviewed the minors with us one by one. We knew exactly what we had done wrong and where we could improve before they left.


Edited by john123, 08 February 2013 - 04:07 PM.

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