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Internal recycle and reuse of totes (supersacks)

totes SQF reuse recycle supersacks

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#1 3esa

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 06:47 PM

Hi,

I work for a food ingredient manufacturer for dry spices and we are low risk.  My question is if we can reuse totes (supersacks) for SQF level 2? 

 

We currently store work-in-progress product in totes and these can sit in the warehouse for weeks or months prior to using for finished product.  We reuse practically all of our totes for internal use (WIP product), as these are emptied out we shake them off, blow-out, or vacuum, prior to re-use.  That's my main concern though, the reuse and the method to clean them.  For finished product we dont have an issue, we only send out new totes and these are traceable.

 

All of your help is much appreciated ;)



#2 JSwenPDX

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 08:23 PM

Hello,

 

I don't have direct experience with this though I do currently work in a facility that reuses cardboard shipper boxes for various purposes. You'll have to do a risk analysis for the reused supersacks and have an SSOP documented for the cleaning procedure .Do any of your dry spices contain mustard? If you are exporting, that could mean you'll have to mark which super sacks have had mustard and keep them separate from the other super sacks.

 

There's my 2 cents!

 

J



#3 Snookie

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 11:48 PM

I would think hygiene and allergens would be the biggest concerns.  Many spices can have high bacterial loads, is vacuuming enough?


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#4 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 12:32 PM

I agree with the risk assessment.

 

Also is your product heat treated during processing?  Is the intended use of the product to be in a product that will be cooked?  

 

Have you run any tests on bacterial loads like snookie suggested?  I would guess on TPC and if it's handled maybe salmonella or ecoli (I'm not a biologist so I'm not very knowledgeable on bacteria)

 

If you work with allergens you need to have a system to make sure you don't cross allergens like snookie said as well.  Maybe a color coding system or something that stands out that will notify someone if they are going to fill it with the wrong allergen.


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#5 3esa

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 03:33 PM

Hello,

 

I don't have direct experience with this though I do currently work in a facility that reuses cardboard shipper boxes for various purposes. You'll have to do a risk analysis for the reused supersacks and have an SSOP documented for the cleaning procedure .Do any of your dry spices contain mustard? If you are exporting, that could mean you'll have to mark which super sacks have had mustard and keep them separate from the other super sacks.

 

There's my 2 cents!

 

J

thanks for the reply.  I didnt know that about mustard.  We mostly work with garlic, oregano, cumin, and chile. 

 

 

I would think hygiene and allergens would be the biggest concerns.  Many spices can have high bacterial loads, is vacuuming enough?

We're fortunate that we dont work with any allergens and we know our reused totes have not been in contact with allergens because we buy them new and reuse internally.  For the bacterial load, I can see your point, although our HACCP plan is designed so that sterilization is done at another facility prior to shipping to customer, by that point the product is most likely in a smaller packaging.


Edited by 3esa, 23 December 2014 - 03:33 PM.


#6 fgjuadi

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 03:43 PM

We used to wash our supersacks - we put inventory ID tags on them and scanned them into "clean" and  "dirty" locations to keep track of which ones were washed & how many we had clean, plus the person scanning in was the person cleaning, so we had record of that. 


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#7 rrana

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 04:29 PM

we also washed our super sacks, cleaned and sanitized, as it a food ingredient, we have to follow the requirements and the standards

so washing, cleaning, sanitizing, and swabbing to validate that the program is working will be a good idea and maintaining records.



#8 Charles.C

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 02:03 AM

Dear 3esa,

 

As per previous, micro. and allergens are 2 obvious hazards to be addressed in a risk analysis.

Don’t see any mention of product specifications, onward use so comments speculative. Presumably the subsequent sterilization applied is documented as validated.

 

We mostly work with garlic, oregano, cumin, and chile.
We're fortunate that we dont work with any allergens.....

 

 

The opinions below may change your mind a little.

 

Here is some (overlapping) info. on spice allergens –

 

Spice allergy

Allergic reactions to spices are rare and usually mild, but severe reactions can happen occasionally. Some people react to mustard, coriander, caraway, fennel, paprika or saffron and, less frequently, to onions, garlic or chives. Reactions to mustard have been reported to cause anaphylaxis, particularly in mainland Europe, where mustard is used more. The allergens in spices are similar to those in pollens and vegetables, and people who are allergic to mugwort and birch are more likely to be sensitive to spices for this reason.

http://www.medicalne...ticles/8624.php

 

Relationship of Spices, Pollens and Other Foods

Since spices are derived from plant sources, it makes sense that certain spices may be related to one another, as well as to pollens and other plant-based foods. These relationships may lead to cross-reactivity , meaning that an allergy to specific pollens might lead to an allergy to related spices. The following list shows the cross-reactivity between spices, pollens and other foods:

Oregano and thyme

Onion and garlic

Paprika and mace

Mustard and rapeseed

Mustard and tree nuts

Sesame and tree nuts

Cottonseed and walnut

Birch pollen and various spices

Mugwort pollen and various spices

Celery and various spices

Carrot and various spices

Fenugreek (often associated with curry) and peanut

http://allergies.abo...ice-Allergy.htm

 

Food List

Aniseed

Camomile

Celery, Celeriac

Garlic

Mustard – botanically a seed

Poppy seed – botanically a seed

Sesame – botanically a seed

http://www.foodaller...oods/Herbs.html

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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