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Roof Leak on Sealed and Packaged Raw Material


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#1 Guitardr85

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 04:03 PM

Thank God it's Friday  :spoton:

 

We recently had a major roof leak in our refrigerated warehouse onto several racks of packaged and vacuum sealed bulk cheese products.  I placed all products on hold and performed sampling of all the products in order to ascertain any widespread contamination issues. 

 

My concern is the following:

 

  • management did not want/allow cleaning immediately after the leak stopped (product has been sitting in potentially contaminated packaging for more than a day at this point...)
  • The leak was severe enough that the exterior corrugate packaging was soaked all the way through on multiple skids.  

Based on history and case study, even though testing was performed, this cannot 100% exclude the risk of pathogen contamination on bulk product.  There is talk of deboxing and repackaging suspect product into fresh packaging but my concern is that the plastic direct packaging could still be contaminated and our process involves bringing this directly into our RTE processing area where it comes into contact with direct product contact processing utensils and buckets.  In addition, we have not performed a validation study on the use of approved chemicals on vacuum sealed material, 

 

Am I crazy for pursuing that this product be disposed of or is this something that is verifiable as safe?

 

Thanks in advance for any comments!


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#2 Craig L.

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 07:35 PM

I would strongly lean toward your recommendation. The repackaging process is more likely to lead to direct product contamination if it has not already occurred. 

I would be interested in knowing what your results are, but I wouldn't even chance this if they are all negative. Roof leaks are too risky. When you backed in a corner with management sometimes reminding them of the cost of a recall or a customer turns them around.


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#3 Ryan M.

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 08:12 PM

I would strongly lean toward your recommendation. The repackaging process is more likely to lead to direct product contamination if it has not already occurred. 

I would be interested in knowing what your results are, but I wouldn't even chance this if they are all negative. Roof leaks are too risky. When you backed in a corner with management sometimes reminding them of the cost of a recall or a customer turns them around.

 

I concur, it is far too risky.  If you need any ammo to present your case to management bring up information regarding peanut butter recalls.  ConAgra with Peter Pan due to roof leak and PCA had issues with their roof as well.

 

Ask them what is the cost of a recall, or more importantly, the cost of someone falling ill or dying because of the product?  They have to weigh that against their choice.  To me, far too risky.


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#4 Tony-C

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 04:13 AM

My decision would take into consideration the value of the raw material affected. If it is of significant value then it may be worth the effort of disinfecting the vacuum packs and validating the process by micro testing before and after.

 

I have seen the use soak tanks to remove any contamination using an appropriate terminal disinfectant or 100ppm free Cl2.  Material would normally have a minimum contact time of 15 minutes.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony

 

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#5 Charles.C

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 04:50 AM

Hi Guitardr,

 

Hopefully you are covered by insurance. If not this may be a good indicator.


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#6 esquef

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 04:50 PM

If the potentially contaminated product has anything to do with RTE I'd highly recommend disposing of the affected product and doing some serious environmental monitoring anywhere the roof water potentially contacted. There was a huge recall involving a major food manufacturer a couple of years ago, and I've been noticing more and more 2nd part auditors insisting on getting up on our roof to inspect it. Birdies just love to poop on food company roofs!!!


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#7 Ryan M.

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 05:24 PM

Yes, and if I were you include the roof as part of a regular inspection program.  In my current facility, even though it is new, we have it on monthly inspection.  I've been in facilities in the past with roofing problems due to neglect and no one having the mind to inspect/repair as needed.

 

That will not be so at my current location.  Mandatory monthly inspection including not just the maintenance condition of the roof, but general housekeeping.  Whenever people work on the roof area they don't always pick up after themselves just leaving debris, trash, and old parts on the roof which can cause pooling of water, weighing down spots on the roof, and possibly leaks/penetrations.


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#8 Guitardr85

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 04:03 PM

Thank you everyone.  I have discussed this ad nauseam with mgmt but they are still committed to using the product.  I performed additional sampling to strengthen the case for use (or find something before use) but I have documented, documented, documented all that I can.  I think my current course of action is to stay noisy but concede that mgmt has the final call on this one...

 

Hmm...not the first time something like this has happened here; maybe I should start looking elsewhere for employment? lol   :roflmao:  


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