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Food Packaging Plant - SQF Lunchroom Requirements

SQF Lunchrooms Breakrooms

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#1 CMHeywood

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 06:57 PM

SQF standard says lunchrooms (breakrooms) must be separated from production, packing and storage areas.  We have a lunchroom that has a door that is about 10 feet from a printing press.  Our consultant said this would be nonconformance but our auditor did not mention anything.  What are other people's experiences with this requirement?


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#2 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 07:02 PM

There should be a hallway or room between a breakroom or a bathroom from any production space for any product that is used with food.

 

What this does is lessen risks by a degree of separation.  It would help to prevent contamination from getting from the breakroom/bathroom and the production area from anything that might float in when the door is open (creating any type of disruption in the air) also any pest issues would have a 2 door barrier from being able to get through which would slow them down.

 

Perhaps your auditor didn't realize it at the time or maybe he didn't see a large risk... but that doesn't make it right if it's wrong and you could get hit on it on a future inspection especially if it's a different auditor.

 

That's my belief based on the information provided.


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#3 Charles.C

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 12:48 AM

Dear CMHeywood,

 

I haven’t checked the exact statement in the SQF standard/Guidance but, as implied by Merle’s post, the most common, generic, food standard, interpretation IMEX is that opening a door such as you refer must not directly open onto the "production" area.

 

Previous threads here have discussed what is the minimum separation for certain facilities, eg restroom, which is also usually unspecified in standards, eg the length of the hallway in Merle’s terminology. :smile:

 

From memory the winner was a “few strides”.

 

The specifics as categorised above are not quite clear in yr OP. :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#4 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 12:27 PM

I don't know your category so I am directly referencing section 11.  If your under a different section let me know:

 

11.3.10 Lunch Rooms

11.3.10.1 Separate lunch room facilities shall be provided away from a food contact/handling zone.

11.3.10.2 Lunch room facilities shall be:

i. Ventilated and well lit;;

ii. Provided with adequate tables and seating to cater for the maximum number of staff at one sitting;;

iii. Equipped with a sink serviced with hot and cold potable water for washing utensils;;

iv. Equipped with refrigeration and heating facilities enabling them to store or heat food and to prepare

non-­alcoholic beverages if required, and

v. Kept clean and free from waste materials and pests.

11.3.10.3 Signage in appropriate languages instructing people to wash their hands before entering the food

processing areas shall be provided in a prominent position in lunch rooms and at lunch room exits.

 

 

This is a prime example of SQF.  "Shall be provided away".  What is "away"?  One could argue a 1' X 1' separating room is away.  Some people may say a few strides.  There is no SQF directed distance therefore you are expected to use your best judgement through risk analysis with your food safety team and best practices.  When you've done that you can argue the point to your inspector.  However a door opening directly into a production area that is food contact is not going to fly.

 

What risks are you looking at?  Some risks may include, but are not limited to, Allergens, pests, unsanitary areas, aerosoled (I just made a new verb) liquids/contaminants (from sink possibly), maybe more.

 

You said printing press so you may be under packaging which would be under section 13:

 

 

13.3.9 Lunch Rooms

13.3.9.1 Separate lunch room facilities shall be provided away from packaging handling or storage areas. Lunch

rooms shall be kept clean and tidy and free from waste materials and pests.

13.3.9.2 Signage in appropriate languages instructing people to wash their hands before entering the food

processing areas shall be provided in a prominent position in lunch rooms and at lunch room exits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This module still requires you to have them "away".  So in my opinion I think you were lucky and you should have probably received a minor for it.  Maybe he had a reason for it but you'll never know.

 

:tardis:


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#5 CMHeywood

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 05:46 PM

Thanks for the replies.  We produce flexible packaging for food contact (mostly cheese), so Module 13, Sector 27.

 

Any other feedback would be appreciated.  We are new to SQF.   Thanks.


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#6 Charles.C

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 04:17 AM

Thanks for the replies.  We produce flexible packaging for food contact (mostly cheese), so Module 13, Sector 27.

 

Any other feedback would be appreciated.  We are new to SQF.   Thanks.

 

Dear CMHeywood,

 

Some further data as to the queries in previous posts would be useful.

 

Eg, what is the precise connective nature of your "door" ? Hallway ?

 

This may conclude the evaluation.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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Charles.C


#7 CMHeywood

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 08:53 PM

The lunchroom has two doors.  Employees concern was about evacuation in case of an emergency.  Management has decided to make the door that opens into a production area to be an emergency exit with an alarm when opened. 


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#8 SQFconsultant

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 10:55 PM

I am not understanding  your last posting about the emergency exit door - but I will address your first posting --

 

If you reference SQF Code 13.3.9 and based on your description of your lunch room being 10 feet away and in a separate room that meets the requirement for separation.

 

There is the possibility that your SQF Registered Consultant may have confused the requirements for restrooms with the lunch room as there are specific requirements for those if located directly off of certain areas.

 

The Auditor was correct in not saying anything because there was nothing to say.


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Serving clients in: USA, Costa Rica, Panama & Caribbean Islands

International Toll-Free: 800-546-1452

 

http://www.linkedin.com/in/getgoc

 

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#9 Charles.C

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 06:15 AM

The lunchroom has two doors.  Employees concern was about evacuation in case of an emergency.  Management has decided to make the door that opens into a production area to be an emergency exit with an alarm when opened. 

 

Dear CMHeywood,

 

Thks yr info.

 

I deduce you are stating that, currently, at least one door in use opens directly into the production area. This would confirm earlier criticisms IMO.

 

I'm curious as to second door but hopefully not directly relevant to yr OP.

 

I can almost guarantee that at the time of yr next audit, someone will "use" the emergency door. i recommend you find a more direct / less contentious escape hatch.

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

 

 

 

.


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Charles.C


#10 zac2944

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 04:08 PM

I'm in packaging too, and going for my SQF this April/May.

 

The way I understand the requirement is that your lunchroom (bathrooms too!) door can't open directly into the manufacturing area.  If that's the set up you're stuck with you've probably got to make a building modification.  I would either 1) add a vestibule or 2) re-route door if there is an adjacent hallway.  It all depends on your building layout and budget, but a vestibule is usually pretty easy.  I just creates another door. 

 

We've had to make some building modifications like this for SQF.  It's tough if you've got an older building.  Old plants like mine just weren't built with Food Safety in mind 60+ years ago.  Controlling the flow of people in and out was not a concern, biggest concern was flow of materials and fitting in huge presses and extruders. 


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#11 lmarquez

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 05:41 PM

I would do a risk assesment on the are and locationm, based on the results the decision should be easy to make.


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