Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation
Photo
- - - - -

Ingredient storage standards


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Marrok

Marrok

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 19 posts
  • 0 thanks
0
Neutral

  • New Zealand
    New Zealand
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 May 2014 - 06:56 AM

As my workplace is looking to raise its food safety standards, I'm wondering how the ingredients room should be organised I.e. At the moment it seems pretty rough in there with open bags etc

We are trying to start really working on our traceability and documenting batch numbers etc
Today management had a meeting and decided the few ingredients we actually put into containers will be no longer put into containers as they do not have batch numbers on them.

Seems to me that to meet the high international standards ingredients, once opened, should in fact be put into airtight containers?

I think our ingredients room seems to be in a bit of a shambles...but I don't think any of us actually know how it should be.
Our whole factory is in need of much work to heighten its standards and gain woolworths standards to trade with Australia etc
I have questions coming out of my ears but don't want to just be annoying.


  • 0

#2 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 12,655 posts
  • 3322 thanks
352
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 28 May 2014 - 07:38 AM

Dear Marrok,

 

Seems to me that to meet the high international standards ingredients, once opened, should in fact be put into airtight containers?

 

I think this was the basic query in your interesting post. Please be assured that any/all questions are only too welcome, such is the intention of the forum. :smile:

 

A generic answer is difficult. It depends on what you are talking about, for example flour from a sack may be different to flavoring from a bottle.

 

You probably need to give some direct context which may/may not be a business problem, as I well know. :smile:

 

The fact is that threads here often start with insufficient data for various possible reasons which is no big problem but the result can be that responses are either not relevant or occasionally simply wrong. This is almost inevitable in some complicated cases but hopefully avoided if possible. If not possible can often still be  "worked around" but more caveats / time tend to be involved. The occasional side-benefit is that tangents / wrong turns can sometimes develop into equally beneficial discussions. Sort of forum bonus. :smile:

 

Based on this forum, the Woolworth standard is not exactly undemanding, particularly in scope.

 

Based on my experience, the hardest part in matching most standards is simply sorting out how to start to organize data/documents/people etc etc so as to start putting a FS/MS/QS system together. Plus Top Management Commitment (or sometimes lack of). There are some useful staging vs time charts which attempt to simplify this process of course, eg Gantt Charts.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


  • 0

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 Marrok

Marrok

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 19 posts
  • 0 thanks
0
Neutral

  • New Zealand
    New Zealand
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:05 AM

Heh good on ya Charles
Yea we'll I see what u mean and I read a lot of your posts and it seems u ask for details a lot
I read all about ph tests and haven't finished with that, then next come Brix and temperature in regards to thermal packing
I'm learning all I can though I come from a quite different background and this is my attempt at making a career on the right side of the law.

Here though I'm referring to a few different ingredients
Firstly acids citric and ascorbic and potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate
All these are stored in containers, the lids to these don't clip they just sit on the container and under them are the sacks and bags they come in
Xanthan as we'll is on the same shelf.....spills are common and I started as the cleaner so I know how annoying it is to mop up xanthate
But what's the proper way for these to be stored.....and if containers are used how do u determine batch numbers

Same with the spices which are on another shelf....curry, cloves, pepper etc they are in open sacks and when someone feels like it some end up in containers and we'll the floor n all over the place.....open bags sit for months not airtight.

Then there's food colourings and oleoresins etc they seem ok in their airtight containers.

On pallets are brown sugar, sugar, canola oil, garlic granules and maybe a cpl others
The open bags are left wide open on top of the stacks

I was looking into a wood policy and read open bags should be stored in an airtight container

I still org and clean the ingredients room and my newly appointed QC title
I'd have to say it seems we could be a lot tidier and possibly need more/ better containers and I'm eager to learn or see a ingredients room that is kept to a high standard


  • 0

#4 TAN85

TAN85

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • Newbie
  • 43 posts
  • 10 thanks
2
Neutral

  • Zambia
    Zambia
  • Gender:Female

Posted 28 May 2014 - 10:01 AM

Hi Marrok,

 

I'm not sure if standards work the same way all over (also quite new to this), but if Woolworths is your target I assume they would have a documented set of standards to include ingredients and their storage, which will tell you exactly how they want it done. I've just done my second audit with Yum Brands and they are very particular about that. However, failing that, I'd recommend getting data sheets or similar, and going with the manufacturer's recommendations. I don't know much about spices, but one would assume the quality would be compromised by leaving them open and exposed, so not only would you have a storage/ contamination problem, you'd end up with a quality issue too.

You've already raised everything off the floor which is a good start :)

If keeping them in the original sacks is ok, i would definitely incorporate a sealing method: tape, cable ties, etc. Assuming you have someone responsible for the issuing of the ingredients on a log you could incorporate a " bag re-sealed" check box along with sign off to ensure it is sealed again and also make the person responsible for it.

 

With regards to the batch numbers, I would say if you are decanting an entire batch (eg a whole sack of something), just be sure to place the original on the new container and remember that ALL containers should be clearly labelled with their contents.  Otherwise, I know of no regulations that say you can't wrote the batch number on by hand (I do this with our plastic bags ... the info is usually only on the outer wrapping but not the smaller bundles inside. It's helpful because I also add extra info, ie supplier name & invoice number, which helps with our traceability).

 

As for the rest, I suggest looking into pest control and regular inspections in storage areas to make sure you don't have any unwanted visitors, examine the area for any possibility of ingredient contamination: is there anything else stored i there that shouldn't be? non food grade items, chemicals, etc? do you have unprotected windows/light sources that could contaminate the ingredients if they broke?  That kinda thing.

 

I think that pretty much covers the basics, hope it's been helpful .... I'm sure an expert will make a few more suggestions.

 

Take care


  • 0

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.."


Thanked by 1 Member:

#5 ShannonH

ShannonH

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 17 posts
  • 2 thanks
2
Neutral

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 29 May 2014 - 12:01 PM

Just a thought, at our facility we empty a lot of our dry ingredients into barrels for use throughout the plant.  The barrels have tight sealing lids and are clearly marked for allergens.  One thing we came up with is that on the handles we use tags which open at one end and the lot number for that ingredient is able to be placed in the tag.  Then it is just a matter of replacing the number in the tag when the lot number changes.


  • 0

#6 Jus'me

Jus'me

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 54 posts
  • 20 thanks
6
Neutral

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Missouri

Posted 02 June 2014 - 01:41 PM

There are so many issues w/ leaving the containers open, from cross-contamination to pest infestation to intentional tampering.  I don't know if you have a HACCP plan or are planning to go GFSI route, but I would definitely suggest finding a way to close the containers.  You can get plastic totes, lidded tubs or drums, and put the whole open bag in it, maybe have a tag on the outside w / the lot number and for tracking purposes you can have a sign-out sheet attached that whenever anybody uses it, they write down the date, how much was used and for what, along w/ their initials or signature.This allows for traceability.  IT also decreases the spills nad messes on the floor which again if not cleaned in a timely manner brings up all sorts of safety and sanitation issues.  Also as long as you go same -to same when using the container, you can reuse it for different lots of the same ingredient.  If you don't want to go to that much trouble, then at least I would tape the bags shut and sign and date when it was opened. .  I am surprised an auditor hasn't said anything about this storage method, usually they would have a cow if they came in and saw open bags of ingredients sitting around.  I know if I saw open containers here in storage, I would make them throw throw them away and not use them. One other thing, if you look at the suppliers recommendations, the shelf life is often based on being maintained in a "closed sealed container", by leaving it open, you are also reducing the shelf life of these products, and what about moisture from the air getting into them. Ohhh! the questions keep coming to me. Makes my head hurt!!!     


  • 1

#7 cazyncymru

cazyncymru

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • Banned
  • 1,604 posts
  • 322 thanks
121
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male

Posted 02 June 2014 - 02:14 PM

I have questions coming out of my ears but don't want to just be annoying.

 

You be as annoying as you want; believe me, there will be someone more annoying than you!

 

Caz x


  • 0

#8 Snookie

Snookie

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,624 posts
  • 264 thanks
163
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 02 June 2014 - 03:55 PM

Sounds like your on the right track. 


  • 0
Posted Image
Live Long & Prosper




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users