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Outsourced Laundry Auditing


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9 replies to this topic

#1 jbickle

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 02:33 PM

We currently send our smocks out for cleaning and sanitizing. The facility is 3 hours away and they currently do not have an up to date audit available to send. They will be having an audit in 2 weeks from their laundry detergent supplier.They however, do have a HACCP Plan, of which I have a copyof the flow chart. My question is, what documentation would acceptable for our corrective action in not having the launderer audited without driving the 3 hours to do an onsite inspection? What constitues "local" when it comes to suppliers and supplier requirements?


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#2 mind over matter

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 05:28 PM

We currently send our smocks out for cleaning and sanitizing. The facility is 3 hours away and they currently do not have an up to date audit available to send. They will be having an audit in 2 weeks from their laundry detergent supplier.They however, do have a HACCP Plan, of which I have a copyof the flow chart. My question is, what documentation would acceptable for our corrective action in not having the launderer audited without driving the 3 hours to do an onsite inspection? What constitues "local" when it comes to suppliers and supplier requirements?

The outsourced process must be controlled as if it was your own. If you want to demonstrate control of that process, how do you assure yourself that the supplier (Launderer) complies with that requirement?

Defining and communicating your requirements is one part of the "control." What is on your PO?

Confirming that the supplier provided what you required is another important part of the "control." How do you know if the supplier meets requirements stated in the PO? You mentioned that there were no facility inspections happened. How about associated records? Do you have any?

As for your last question, please define what you mean by "local"?

Edited by mind over matter, 27 October 2011 - 05:46 PM.

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#3 jbickle

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 05:53 PM

The outsourced process must be controlled as if it was your own. If you want to demonstrate control of that process, how do you assure yourself that the supplier (Launderer) complies with that requirement?

Defining and communicating your requirements is one part of the "control." What is on your PO?

Confirming that the supplier provided what you required is another important part of the "control." How do you know if the supplier meets requirements stated in the PO? You mentioned that there were no facility inspections happened. How about associated records? Do you have any?

As for your last question, please define what you mean by "local"?


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#4 jbickle

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 06:38 PM

By local, I meant it is a 3 hour drive one way and is not convenient to drive that far. We do not make it apoint to visit all our suppliers onsite, it's not financially feasable.
I understand that doesn't excuse the need to verify that they are doing what they say they do in their processes. I have been trying to get the laundry companies district manager to work with me on this, but the process is slow.
We have only been using the company for a few months, and I am not the one handling the account, but I know it is my responsibilty to assure compliancey.
I'll make the trip if need be.
I was thinking it should be treated the same way we treat our other suppliers, we rely on their records for delivering a safe product and then we have our own policies and procedures in place to reassure that.
.


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#5 KTD

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 10:38 PM

Having recently been down exactly this road, here's my 2 cents worth on some of what I have seen: S
- SInce there are no other audits available to you at this time, you HAVE to go - most uniform cleaning services are not fully up on sanitary requirements and you will be amazed by what you may find, even with a 'HACCP plan'...open dock doors to allow a cooling breeze, uncontrolled chemicals, food & drink allowed around cleaned garments, little or no documented training, detergent scales not calibrated, etc.
- Don't forget to audit the transfer station, if there is one: many service providers clean at a consolidated location, but ship to transfer stations for distribution
- The chemical supplier audit will probably not provide the information you need...their focus is typically on efficiency & washing process control only
- Look at the HACCP Flow chart, are the CCPs logical for food safety? Ones I have seen have CCPs that are quality, not food safety, related (missing buttons, no holes)
- Is there any documentation being generated on the CCPs? Who is HACCP trained in that facility?
- What happens to your garments after they exit the steam tunnel? Do they subsequently contact garments from the nearby auto repair shop which did not go thru the steam tunnel? Are they subsequently exposed to the environment during loading or unloading operations at the cleaning or distribution facilities?

If you are big enough business to them, you can require a 3rd party audit and discuss who pays part or all of the cost...may be more cost effective than your travel time.


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#6 jbickle

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 06:38 PM

Having recently been down exactly this road, here's my 2 cents worth on some of what I have seen: S
- SInce there are no other audits available to you at this time, you HAVE to go - most uniform cleaning services are not fully up on sanitary requirements and you will be amazed by what you may find, even with a 'HACCP plan'...open dock doors to allow a cooling breeze, uncontrolled chemicals, food & drink allowed around cleaned garments, little or no documented training, detergent scales not calibrated, etc.
- Don't forget to audit the transfer station, if there is one: many service providers clean at a consolidated location, but ship to transfer stations for distribution
- The chemical supplier audit will probably not provide the information you need...their focus is typically on efficiency & washing process control only
- Look at the HACCP Flow chart, are the CCPs logical for food safety? Ones I have seen have CCPs that are quality, not food safety, related (missing buttons, no holes)
- Is there any documentation being generated on the CCPs? Who is HACCP trained in that facility?
- What happens to your garments after they exit the steam tunnel? Do they subsequently contact garments from the nearby auto repair shop which did not go thru the steam tunnel? Are they subsequently exposed to the environment during loading or unloading operations at the cleaning or distribution facilities?

If you are big enough business to them, you can require a 3rd party audit and discuss who pays part or all of the cost...may be more cost effective than your travel time.



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#7 jbickle

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 07:08 PM

Your two cents is much appreciated.
I was all prepared to drive the distance on this one after getting no-where with one manager. He seemed to have even less experience than myself.
I chose to go over his head and got a recent ISO Audit from this particular plant. One minor, not following through on document control, corrected. I have reviewed the audit and am satisfied they are following their HACCP/GFSI Food Safety Plan.
I was somewhat surprised at the extent the company has gone to in following food safety from pick-up to delivery.
Thanks to everyone for their input.
The more I learn the better I can do my job!




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#8 Charles.C

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 03:22 PM

Dear jbickle,

Just a comment.

I presume by "ISO" you mean ISO 9000 series ?. This is obviously in principle a lot better than "nothing" but does not necessarily offer any conclusion regarding HACCP capability of their system. I presume yr appraisal was based on some knowledge of typical laundry safety objectives (typically involving microbiological data) ?

Or perhaps "ISO" = ISO 22000 ? That would indeed be quite impressive for a laundry IMO. :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C


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#9 mind over matter

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 05:12 AM

I am not from the HACCP organization, but what I can read from fav Charles C's comment is that, for example, under HACCP you need to verify if detergents/chemicals used by launderer are approved chemicals because the clothes will be used inside the food plants and ISO 9001 desn't offer any conclusion regarding that.

So jbickle,
is this audit under ISO 9001 or ISO 22000?


Edited by mind over matter, 30 October 2011 - 01:13 PM.

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#10 jbickle

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 06:01 PM

Just a quick update. We recieved an A on our audit. The laundry audit and HACCP flow chart was accepted as our corrective action. All is good. Given the time and the chance, we will visit them in person and do an on-site inspection, audit.
Thanks to all who replied!


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