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SQF and Traceability

traceability recall lot identification

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#1 LindaALaw

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 02:18 PM

Hi all,

 

I work at a small Food Wholesaler and Distribution company that has two production lines.  We distribute over 450 SKUs of product and "process" (ie. repack from bulk into smaller pouches) about 25 products.  We have a diverse product line from Grains and Cereals, Confectionary  (chocolate bars, trail mixes, candies), Nuts & Nut Snacks, Instant Coffee, Chocolate Bars and Asian products (Soo Jerky products and Asian snacks).

 

We our working towards certification to SQF and are struggling with the Traceability clause which affects our ability to effectively perform a Recall.

 

Currently, we are documenting all information (Lot/Batch numbers) from our Suppliers, but we DO NOT record these lots on the Pick Slip or Invoices when shipping to customers because of the time it would take to record them, therefore we do not have specific lot number traceability.  Is it acceptable to claim that in the case of a Recall, we would withdraw or recall ALL of the affective product from ALL customers regardless of lot number?

 

I can't understand why this issue hasn't come up in previous CFIA audits but apparently this explanation was found to be acceptable.  I'm sure it is not for SQF (or for any Food Safety Standard).

 

Does anyone have any suggestions of how to handle full traceability with so many products?  We have a software program but at the moment there is no traceability function.

 

Any feedback or suggestions would be most appreciated,

 

Thanks so much, Linda


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#2 RMAV

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 03:44 PM

What is your potential exposure?  10% of your product?  95% of your product? 

 

SQFI and your CB's reputation is on the line too.  Perhaps they want their exposure limited by you limiting yours?  (question for the experts out there)


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#3 Charles.C

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 05:40 AM

Hi all,


 

Does anyone have any suggestions of how to handle full traceability with so many products?  We have a software program but at the moment there is no traceability function.

 

Any feedback or suggestions would be most appreciated,

 

Thanks so much, Linda

 

Hi Linda,

 

I assume you mean an expandable software system ?

 

If so, I fear you have answered yr own query ? Software is surely the optimum route for this issue. At a cost of course. :smile:


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#4 LindaALaw

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 01:29 PM

Hi Charles,

 

Actually the current software is NOT expandable but would be replaced by a new upgrade (at a huge cost) and a great deal of time involved. 

 

The other option is recording each lot number as it is picked for an order but Management is balking at that since it would take so much time and slow down the process.

 

I don't think we have any other options since total Traceability is a mandatory clause so I must convince Management that we must be able to trace each product - back to Supplier and more importantly, forward to each Customer.

 

Thanks for the confirmation, Linda


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#5 Timwoodbag

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 08:03 PM

Hi Charles,

 

Actually the current software is NOT expandable but would be replaced by a new upgrade (at a huge cost) and a great deal of time involved. 

 

The other option is recording each lot number as it is picked for an order but Management is balking at that since it would take so much time and slow down the process.

 

I don't think we have any other options since total Traceability is a mandatory clause so I must convince Management that we must be able to trace each product - back to Supplier and more importantly, forward to each Customer.

 

Thanks for the confirmation, Linda

 

That is a big challenge here as well; we need a full commitment from management to do our jobs.  If management believed in food safety strongly they will say "okay" to all the ridiculous requests we push down to them.  If the answer is as simple as hiring a few people to write down lot numbers, then we have to convince managements' bosses that a larger budget is now necessary, or the FDA will shut down the plant and we will all lose our jobs, simple as that.  


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#6 SQFconsultant

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 09:03 PM

Hi Linda, you are in a business that changes a lot and not fully keeping track of everything will get you into a world of hurt in the event of a recall or for that matter SQF at audit time.

 

We have a number of clients that use a simple software solution (actually it runs their entire SQF programs) called SQF Sentinel - you can take a look at it here -- http://www.Focus-Works.com

 

That is not our link nor are we distributors for them, but we normally recommend them for most of our SQF clients and we just had a client similar in nature to your business but with 8500 sku's go this route and the software solved the issue along with a bunch of other things too and now we are in Wisconsin and another client is about to purchase this software too.

 

Best to you, Glenn


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Warm regards,

 

Glenn Oster

 

SQF Registered Consultant - Certified for 29 FSC's

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

International Toll-Free: 800-546-1452

 

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

 

www.GlennOsterConsulting.com






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