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Managing Food Safety: The Importance of Document Control

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#1 Simon

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 07:18 PM

Managing Food Safety: The Importance of Document Control
Simon Dawson, Lecturer & Advisor, Cardiff Metropolitan University.


Accurate, diligent document control should be at the heart of any food manufacturing company. It is the backbone of all traceability, withdrawal and recall exercises and incidents throughout the world, however the key attributes to getting the perfect system in any company can be particularly challenging. This session focuses on the importance of document control and traceability, what makes a good document control system and how you can look to improve your system to make it more efficient and robust.


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

 

 

<<Link to the Webinar recording>>


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Simon Timperley
IFSQN Administrator
 
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#2 Simon

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 01:01 PM

Excellent Simon, very practical and lot's of useful take home tips.   :clap:
 
Your questions and comments:
 

  • Question: How can you avoid that filling out registration documents on the floor is getting a routine where the workers are just filling in without thinking and not checking if it is really ok.
  • Standards require that you carry out document control review. What should the review entail?
  • what is the difference between FSMS & FSQMS
  • Sometimes efficiency and robustness is confused with quantity, what is your general recommendation for simplification and integration avoiding redundancy and at the same time being efficient and fulfilling third party audits requirements. Thanks.
  • How do you get management commitment as a QA?
  • Would you have a recommendation on how to measure effectiveness of your traceability system in place? If you have to define a criteria and scale to compare among 3 or more different companies handling traceability system... how can you establish a scale to compare it in between them?
  • Thanks Simon D.! Good presentation! Many auditors look for records put in order by type of record, not for shift or batch. When a company has to make a recall, the best and fastest way to do it, it's with the records by batch. How to deal with auditors about their preference?
  • Is there any specific procedure for management of obsolete documents and maintaining them for reference purposes?
  • My first time attending webinar training and really enjoyed it.
  • Thank you for the interesting topics!
  • Simon, can you post the sample Traceability Template Sheet on the IFSQN website? Or is it there and I couldn't find it? Thanks
  • Is there any method to calculate retention time for management system doc & other departmental process documents?

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Best Regards,

Simon Timperley
IFSQN Administrator
 
hand-pointing-down.gif

Need food safety advice?
Relax, you've come to the right place…

The IFSQN is a helpful network of volunteers providing answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts on food safety management systems and a wide range of food safety topics.

 
We could make a huge list of rules, terms and conditions, but you probably wouldn’t read them.

All that we ask is that you observe the following:


1. No spam, profanity, pornography, trolling or personal attacks

2. Topics and posts should be “on topic” and related to site content
3. No (unpaid) advertising
4. You may have one account on the board at any one time
5. Enjoy your stay!


#3 mesophile

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:49 PM

  • Question: How can you avoid that filling out registration documents on the floor is getting a routine where the workers are just filling in without thinking and not checking if it is really ok.

Unfortunately, this is very difficult. Repetition is similar in any field. If you do something enough you can get complacent and just fill something in without checking. Why don't you ask the staff that complete the paperwork for help designing the form. Tell them what information that must be present and explain why it is needed. Ask them if there is any way we can redesign the form so it is easier for them to complete. Tell them you value their input. If you modify the documentation to reflect what the operative says they will be more likely to do the checks as they feel part of a team.

  • Standards require that you carry out document control review. What should the review entail?

Design a procedure and form that reflects this, for example:

XXX Foods Ltd manages all documents which form part of the food safety and quality management system (FSQMS) through the following procedures:

All FSQMS must have the following:

- Section Title

- Procedure Title

- Procedure Reference*

- Issue Date*

- Issue Number*

- Person Issued By (Must be Technical Management/QA Technologist)*

- Signature of the Person who Issued the Document*

 

* = All active "live" records contain the latest and most up-to-date version

 

All documents relating to the Quality Management System will be suitably controlled and authorised and a record of any document changes shall be maintained in the Rescind Document File.

 

Systems will be in place to ensure that obsolete documents are effectively removed from circulation and revised documents are appropriately circulated.

 

All active documentation shall be available to all relevant staff. Anyone using the authorised documents shall be able to understand their relevance, what the document is, and how to use it. All documentation will be available in English, with some procedures/signs/training records available in Polish as well as English.

 

Where suitable, pictorial documents will be used to ensure they are understood by all languages and followed correctly, for example, changing procedures.

 

When a document is changed, a record is kept of the change and the reason for the change. All previous versions of records are maintained in a rescind document log. If a significant number of documents are changed at the same time, and for the same reason, i.e. general annual review and update, these may be grouped together within the rescind document log.

  • What is the difference between FSMS & FSQMS

Food Safety Management System and Food Safety Quality Management System are both the same thing really, however for BRC purposes, you need to label your manual as Food Safety Quality Management System.

  • Sometimes efficiency and robustness is confused with quantity, what is your general recommendation for simplification and integration avoiding redundancy and at the same time being efficient and fulfilling third party audits requirements. Thanks.

I have seen plenty of paperwork that goes over the top with points to complete, which may look impressive, actually contains a lot of information that is not required. Look at your paperwork from a traceability and due diligence point of view, also speak to the production operatives. Tell them what legal information is needed and get their buy in to redesign or simply update the forms. Complete a traceability exercise to see if the 'new' paperwork is still as robust and efficient as before. Unfortunately, sometimes you just can't simplify though.

  • How do you get management commitment as a QA?

First you need your boss - the Technical Manager to be committed first. Once they are part of the mix they should organise a meeting with management and yourself (as QA) to discuss paperwork, food safety, due diligence and reasons for each. It is sup prising the number of companies that other than technical, feel paperwork is simply a thorn in their side. However, when the proverbial does hit the fan, they are more than happy to pass the buck to technical to sort the problems out.

  • Would you have a recommendation on how to measure effectiveness of your traceability system in place? If you have to define a criteria and scale to compare among 3 or more different companies handling traceability system... how can you establish a scale to compare it in between them?

Effectiveness is simply "does it work?". If the system works, and works well then I would say it is pretty effective. Design a front sheet with tick boxes of all the records you need for a full full traceability. Use a timer and record exactly how long it takes to conduct a full traceability. Any errors/problems/difficulties should be noted. If this is compared with against a number of companies you should be able to measure effectiveness between companies. Your key performance indicators (KPIs) for this would be: number of errors noted? can it be completed?  time taken to complete? 

  • Thanks Simon D.! Good presentation! Many auditors look for records put in order by type of record, not for shift or batch. When a company has to make a recall, the best and fastest way to do it, it's with the records by batch. How to deal with auditors about their preference?

As long as you can show the auditor(s) that your records have been completed accurately, are easy to find, and fully support a due diligence system then you should be fine. 

  • Is there any specific procedure for management of obsolete documents and maintaining them for reference purposes?

All documents relating to the Quality Management System will be suitably controlled and authorised and a record of any document changes shall be maintained in the Rescind Document File.

 

Systems will be in place to ensure that obsolete documents are effectively removed from circulation and revised documents are appropriately circulated.

 

When a document is changed, a record is kept of the change and the reason for the change. All previous versions of records are maintained in a rescind document log. If a significant number of documents are changed at the same time, and for the same reason, i.e. general annual review and update, these may be grouped together within the rescind document log.

  • My first time attending webinar training and really enjoyed it.
  • Thank you for the interesting topics!
  • Simon, can you post the sample Traceability Template Sheet on the IFSQN website? Or is it there and I couldn't find it? Thanks

Please see attachment

  • Is there any method to calculate retention time for management system doc & other departmental process documents?

FSQMS documentation should be retained for a minimum of 12 months plus the shelf life of the food product. This needs to include any alterations you allow to the product by the customer, therefore if the product has 1 month life, however you state on the packaging "Can be frozen for up to 3 months" you would need to keep your documentation for 12 months + 1 month + 3 months = 16 months. I would keep all documentation for the same length of time, this way there is no misinterpretation about storage durations of any documents.

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