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How to assure a materials validity when missing COAs?

food safey quality assurance testing

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#1 Mesha

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 10:58 AM

Hi All,

 

There is a case where a company brings the stock back to its factory after terminating contract with a CMU. The stocks are within the shelf life but for some of the material the COA could not be traced. The labels on the bags clearly state the manufactuing & expiry dates.

 

I thought of getting the material tested against specifications from an approved lab, but in my opinion this way we can establish the material's validity at the present stage. Would this report be valid for supporting the use of material till its declared shelf life ??? OR do I need to scrap the material and let the company bear the loss !

 

Requesting all the experts to share their opinion and experiences !!


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#2 Tony-C

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 03:12 PM

Hi All,

 

There is a case where a company brings the stock back to its factory after terminating contract with a CMU. The stocks are within the shelf life but for some of the material the COA could not be traced. The labels on the bags clearly state the manufactuing & expiry dates.

 

I thought of getting the material tested against specifications from an approved lab, but in my opinion this way we can establish the material's validity at the present stage. Would this report be valid for supporting the use of material till its declared shelf life ??? OR do I need to scrap the material and let the company bear the loss !

 

Requesting all the experts to share their opinion and experiences !!

 

Hi Meena,

 

Some more details about the material is necessary if you want sound advice.

 

Regards,

 

Tony


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#3 Mesha

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 03:59 AM

All synthetic raw material - chemicals, sugars, dyes etc.


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#4 Tony-C

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 04:56 AM

All synthetic raw material - chemicals, sugars, dyes etc.

 

Hi Meena,

 

I assume that they are ambient stable then. If you are further processing, they are within expiry date and tamper evident (plus show no signs of tampering) I would look to sample and confirm they are within specification.

 

Regards,

 

Tony


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#5 Mesha

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 05:16 AM

Hi Tony,

 

My confusion is that this testing report sufficient enough data to use the material till its shelf life as in this case the COA is not available !


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#6 Tony-C

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 06:01 AM

Hi Tony,

 

My confusion is that this testing report sufficient enough data to use the material till its shelf life as in this case the COA is not available !

 

Hi Meena,

 

That is the same concern as if you had a COA, it confirms that when tested the material was within specification. The product specification should be such that given the correct storage and handling a product that passes at the start of life should be satisfactory at the end of life. If you are holding for an extended periods before using then I would be testing at intervals as well.

 

Regards,

 

Tony


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#7 Mesha

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 06:33 AM

Thankyou Tony :smile:


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#8 Charles.C

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 11:09 AM

Dear Meena,

 

i gave up at "CMU". Google fared no better.

 

Another Indian acronym I suspect  ? :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#9 Mesha

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 11:19 AM

My apologies Charles !! :(

 

It is "Contract Manufacturing Unit"


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#10 Charles.C

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 12:43 PM

Dear Meena,

 

Thanks. I'm glad it wasn't something out of Dr Who.

 

it's a tricky risk evaluation.

 

I have experienced similar events with (date-usable) material returned by a middleman after disappearance of an intended customer.

 

The situation necessitated re-processing which effectively created a loss. However the reprocessing also revealed certain foreign materials which were almost certainly introduced during the various travels ex-factory.

 

I suppose it depends on yr evaluation of the worst-case scenario / consequences. And who will be responsible. :smile:

 

Some companies would probably have an automatic avoidance for some of the items you mention.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#11 DP2006

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 07:39 AM

The CofA is a "snapshot" in time and is based on a sample of a larger batch / consignment of material. As outlined above, it is not necessarily representative of the current condition of the material eg it might be a a vitamin in which the levels degrade over time.

 

Assuming you are confident that any samples you take are "representative", retesting against specification would be would be worth doing.

 

Assuming you are confident that no tampering or cross-contamination can have taken place eg original, unopened / undamaged packing, tamper evident / proof seals are intact etc, you might not do this for all materials.

 

I would target any sensitive materials eg vitamins etc that degrade over time and can be sensitive to environmental conditions eg heat, moisture etc.

 

Although not necessarily food safety / food quality related, you might also want to test any high value materials that the business would be reluctant to scrap on the basis of cost.

 

One of the biggest unknowns might be what has happened to the materials in the supply chain whilst at the CMU and whilst being returned eg have these been handled correctly to avoid loss of quality or introduction of food safety hazards.

 

Good Luck!

DP2006


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#12 imadoughguy

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 03:05 PM

And would the returned material be considered "rework", which opens up a new set of issues within SQF Code.

 

My 2 cents... Unless it's a large sum of money (thousands verses hundreds of dollars) I would strongly consider pitching it, way too many unknowns here.

 

Phil


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