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SQF Code 2.3.1.3: Shelf-Life Trials for Food Packaging


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#1 SQF1188

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 01:41 PM

SQF Code states: 2.3.1.3 Specification and Product Development: Shelf life trials where necessary shall be conducted to establish and validate a product's handling, storage requirements, including the establishment of "use by" or "best before" dates, microbiological criteria, consumer preparation, storage and handling requirements. Does anyone in the packaging industry do any shelf life validation out there? We say one year for our product and to be stored in dry conditions. I'd almost think that the statement "where necessary" could make us exempt because there really is no expiration for our product (bags, napkins, deli sheets, etc.) when stored in proper conditions. Any advice as to whether seek an exemption here or run trials of our own?


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#2 Snookie

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 03:32 PM

Being rather new to packaging but not SQF, your question is very interesting as I will at some point be having the same discussion with an auditor.  We have some materials that are over several years old and while we do sensory testing to ensure we are not getting any off odors, technically the material has been good.  Especially when dealing with plastics, they are like twinkies, they last forever.   


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#3 Ivan

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 01:29 PM

Being in the same category, we usually have our suppliers supply us with that information. We package spices and confectionary sugars.


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#4 SQF1188

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 01:35 PM

Being in the same category, we usually have our suppliers supply us with that information. We package spices and confectionary sugars.

 

We don't package goods, we make the packaging (napkins, wraps, bags, sheets, etc). If you know how your packaging supplier comes up with shelf life information I'd be happy to know     :secret:


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#5 Charles.C

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 05:26 AM

Dear All,

 

As a packaging user only, it seemed an interesting question (to me) since (food) shelf life often tends to be a definite  headache for food processors.

 

Must say that I have never encountered a direct buyer query on this but it can obviously depend on type of packaging, eg low/high tech/intelligent etc. Many processors IMEX rely on JIT / lot-by-lot purchasing for this item so old-stock problem not so significant if locally available. But as far as basic  handling / storage issues go, eg like 3ply vs 5-ply, plastic non-compatibility to low temperatures, these  tend to rapidly, financially, self-reveal themselves IMEX.

 

Does the (so far) silence really indicate that none of the packaging producers consider this aspect. Seems hard to believe. :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

PS - offhand, i suspect SQF are merely borrowing the text from a food module ???


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Charles.C


#6 Loni Banaszak

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 03:46 PM

I am going through this right now! My auditor told us that if we can gather documentation form our raw material suppliers justifying theirshelf life (or even their shelf life trials), we could "piggy back" off them as long as we documented that's what we were doing. We just aren't sophisticated enough to run our own. And that would be acceptable. However getting information from our suppliers about shelf life is like pulling teeth, They don't want to take liability and I don't blame them.


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Loni


#7 Snookie

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 04:53 PM

I am going through this right now! My auditor told us that if we can gather documentation form our raw material suppliers justifying theirshelf life (or even their shelf life trials), we could "piggy back" off them as long as we documented that's what we were doing. We just aren't sophisticated enough to run our own. And that would be acceptable. However getting information from our suppliers about shelf life is like pulling teeth, They don't want to take liability and I don't blame them.

 

 

I'm sorry but I think the auditor is being a butt. As a supplier I provide a shelf life.  I am not going to give my customer all the raw data to support this shelf life or justify it.  In my case currently am doing packaging which lasts forever.  We assign the shelf life based on how long we want and need to keep paperwork.  In produce, the shelf has the stability as the weather, which means that it doesn't.  Some days you will have no shelf life, because it was cold and rainy, other times you will get perfect weather.   In produce we give a shelf life, but it is wiggly as jello. 


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#8 Charles.C

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 06:37 PM

Dear SQF,

 

I don't know if representative but here is one example of packaging shelf-life assessment, albeit an evasive one -

 

Attached File  technical_data_sheet_for_corrugated_box_V5.1.pdf   112.26KB   56 downloads

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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Charles.C


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#9 Loni Banaszak

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 06:55 PM

I'm sorry but I think the auditor is being a butt. As a supplier I provide a shelf life.  I am not going to give my customer all the raw data to support this shelf life or justify it.  In my case currently am doing packaging which lasts forever.  We assign the shelf life based on how long we want and need to keep paperwork.  In produce, the shelf has the stability as the weather, which means that it doesn't.  Some days you will have no shelf life, because it was cold and rainy, other times you will get perfect weather.   In produce we give a shelf life, but it is wiggly as jello. 

I wish you were my supplier, I just keep getting the run around, and google gives nothing for shelf life on plastic, its literally all based on storage, and we aren't responsible for the storage of the plastic once it leaves our facility. I feel like I am running around in circles, banging my head against a wall.


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Loni


#10 Loni Banaszak

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 06:57 PM

Dear SQF,

 

I don't know if representative but here is one example of packaging shelf-life assessment, albeit an evasive one -

 

attachicon.giftechnical_data_sheet_for_corrugated_box_V5.1.pdf

 

Rgds / Charles.C

Charles, Thank you I'm going to show your example to the VP of Ops and see if he can get something like this from our suppliers. I think this information would absolutely help me in the long run.


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Loni


#11 Snookie

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 07:11 PM

I wish you were my supplier, I just keep getting the run around, and google gives nothing for shelf life on plastic, its literally all based on storage, and we aren't responsible for the storage of the plastic once it leaves our facility. I feel like I am running around in circles, banging my head against a wall.

 

 

In all fairness to packaging companies, many are playing catch up to the changed regulations. I struggle to get information from my vendors as well.   Still I think the auditor requiring that you have information to justify the shelf life of a vendors product is a new one to me and I agree with you, that the key to this is, "where necessary".  Here it is not necessary.  If auditor makes this a finding, I would formally dispute with the CB.  

9843357c7cd519dc77bde0525a036ac2.jpg


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#12 Loni Banaszak

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 07:20 PM

Thanks!


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Loni





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