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SQF Module 12: Reefer and Product Temperature checks


Best Answer erin.m.v, 24 February 2016 - 02:05 AM

Hello,

 

I work at a public frozen storage warehousing company and we are coming up on our third SQF audit in a few weeks.  Applying the Code to a public warehouse, where we do not own any of the product we handle, has been tricky at times, so I hope that by sharing some of what we have done to respond to these particular Code elements will be helpful.

 

First off, I have to address the issue of taking air temperatures.  This is the first that I have ever heard of this.  I don't see how that interpretation can be extracted from the Code, so I would not have a hard time defending our choice to leave that step out.

 

To address your other questions about implementing procedures for complying with shipping and receiving requirements, I have gone through our Shipping Program SOP and Receiving Program SOP documents and selected some excerpts that directly relate to 12.6.8.1 and 12.6.9.1 . 

 

The document we use to record the required information for 12.6.8.1 (shipping), is referred to as a Load Summary sheet and due to differing requirements based on the type of shipment it is, we have FOUR different versions of it.  It's not ideal, but we haven't had any related problems so far.  We have the following 3 versions, plus 1 version that is computer-generated:

 

The documents we use to record the required information for 12.6.9.1 (receiving), are our Extended Cover Sheet and Receiving Report.  Before opening the doors of a shipping container (or railcar, trailer, etc.), the reefer set point and running temperatures are checked and recorded on the Extended Cover Sheet.   After opening the doors, a minimum of 3 product temperatures (more if there is reason to believe there may be a problem) get recorded on the Receiving Report.  As soon as product hits the loading dock, we take the first temperature reading.  About halfway through, the second reading.  The third reading comes from the last of the product to be unloaded.

 

I agree with you that it doesn't make sense to do a 3 point check of product temperatures when your are only dealing with a few pallets of product.  I address this by giving "common sense guidelines" in our SOPs:  one temperature for one pallet; two temperatures for a few pallets; two temperatures for a ¼-½ load; two temperatures for a ½-¾ load; and three temperatures for a ¾-full load.

 

I hope this information is useful!

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#1 agasr

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 11:52 PM

Greetings,

 

Wondering as what the fellow SQFpursuants are doing to comply with the areas highlighted below

  • 12.6.8.1 - Transport: "Refrigerated units shall maintain the food at required temperatures and the unit's temperature settings shall be set, checked and recorded before loading and core product temperatures recorded at regular intervals during loading as appropriate" 
  • 12.6.9.1 Unloading "Prior to opening the doors the refrigeration unit's storage temperature settings and operating temperature shall be checked and recorded. Unloading shall be completed efficiently and product temperatures shall be recorded at the commencement of unloading and at regular intervals during unloading" 

 

We got to hear from an SQF Consultant that we need to check and record the following:-

 

Loading:- 

- Reefer Setting

- Reefer Value

- Actual Air Temperature

- Product Temps - taken from Nose, Middle and Tail, as we load. 

 

Unloading:- 

- Reefer Setting

- Reefer Value

- Product Temps - taken from Nose, Middle and Tail, as we unload.

 

  • Is this above is what is expected to comply with the code? 
  • While the above could be accomplished, wonder how the AIR TEMP is being taken reliably. We tried to take air temp from aiming at the air (which is hard to do as it often hits the trailer interiors) and it varies a lot from one part to other. So, wondering what other locations are doing to meet this interpretation (Don't see the code calling this out clearly in my view)
  • For  "Product to be checked at Regular intervals" part, while it makes sense for Nose, Middle and Tail Product Temps, for a large load. For smaller loads of 1 to 2 pallets, the loading time is over in a manner of few mins. So, a 3 point check of that lot size does not make sense. 

Wondering how fellow SQF warehouse teams are interpreting and would like to hear about their experience/suggestions are on this matter. 

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Regards,


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#2 erin.m.v

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 02:05 AM   Best Answer

Hello,

 

I work at a public frozen storage warehousing company and we are coming up on our third SQF audit in a few weeks.  Applying the Code to a public warehouse, where we do not own any of the product we handle, has been tricky at times, so I hope that by sharing some of what we have done to respond to these particular Code elements will be helpful.

 

First off, I have to address the issue of taking air temperatures.  This is the first that I have ever heard of this.  I don't see how that interpretation can be extracted from the Code, so I would not have a hard time defending our choice to leave that step out.

 

To address your other questions about implementing procedures for complying with shipping and receiving requirements, I have gone through our Shipping Program SOP and Receiving Program SOP documents and selected some excerpts that directly relate to 12.6.8.1 Attached File  Shipping SOP Excerpts.pdf   73.5KB   51 downloads and 12.6.9.1 Attached File  Receiving SOP Excerpts.pdf   194.67KB   45 downloads

 

The document we use to record the required information for 12.6.8.1 (shipping), is referred to as a Load Summary sheet and due to differing requirements based on the type of shipment it is, we have FOUR different versions of it.  It's not ideal, but we haven't had any related problems so far.  We have the following 3 versions, plus 1 version that is computer-generated: Attached File  Container Load Summary.pdf   62.75KB   33 downloads Attached File  Railcar Load Summary.pdf   83.7KB   15 downloads Attached File  Load Summary (Blank).pdf   728.44KB   36 downloads

 

The documents we use to record the required information for 12.6.9.1 (receiving), are our Extended Cover Sheet and Receiving Report.  Before opening the doors of a shipping container (or railcar, trailer, etc.), the reefer set point and running temperatures are checked and recorded on the Extended Cover Sheet. Attached File  Extended Cover Sheet.pdf   684.55KB   33 downloads  After opening the doors, a minimum of 3 product temperatures (more if there is reason to believe there may be a problem) get recorded on the Receiving Report.  As soon as product hits the loading dock, we take the first temperature reading.  About halfway through, the second reading.  The third reading comes from the last of the product to be unloaded.

 

I agree with you that it doesn't make sense to do a 3 point check of product temperatures when your are only dealing with a few pallets of product.  I address this by giving "common sense guidelines" in our SOPs:  one temperature for one pallet; two temperatures for a few pallets; two temperatures for a ¼-½ load; two temperatures for a ½-¾ load; and three temperatures for a ¾-full load.

 

I hope this information is useful!


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#3 SQFconsultant

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 03:46 AM

Everything sounds great except the shooting of the air; the visable or invisble (depending on the device used) will bounce the tempurature back of the walls, refrigerating unit, etc abd not the ambient temperature of the air.

Glenn Oster


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Warm regards,

 

Glenn Oster

 

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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

 

www.GlennOsterConsulting.com


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#4 Tony-C

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 04:36 AM

Air temperature as well as product does need to be recorded. A probe would be better than an IR thermometer for this.

 

SQF Guidance on from Module 11 (Similar requirements):

Prior to loading, refrigeration units must be pre-chilled. Food is to be transported at its appropriate storage temperature. It is recommended that the air temperatures of the refrigeration units are recorded at regular intervals during shipment and this can be accomplished by the use if data logger temperature recording devices.

 

If you don't have data loggers then why not have a gauge thermometer inside each unit and check the accuracy at relevant intervals?

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony


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#5 agasr

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 08:30 PM

Erin, 

Thanks so much for a comprehensive response. Could not agree more with the thoughts shared. Much appreciated and the inputs are invaluable to us. 

 

Glenn, 

Bouncing off values is the issue we are facing too, that is resulting in unreliable values. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 

 

Tony, 

Thanks for your response. Apologies for not clarifying well to start with. I consulted the Module 11 guidance document prior posting this query. The part that is quoted in your response relates Transport (11.6.8), for capturing the temperature during transport.

 

To clarify, as 3PL, we don't own the product, nor set up the transportation vehicles. So, the vehicle capabilities and procedures to monitor air temperature at regular intervals of transportation steps are out of our influence scope. Our responsibilities and requirements with most of the customers are only to do with Unloading and Loading steps. There is no mention of air temperature in SQF Code as part of Loading or Unloading steps, which is where the suggestion was to begin with. hence the query as how others are performing against this interpretation. 

 

I hope this helps. 

 

Regards, 


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