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Root Cause on Minor Non Conformities

sqf root cause corrective actions non-conformity minor

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#1 Bailey39

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 10:05 PM

Yesterday we wrapped up Day 2 & our final day of our audit with a final score of 92. I was hoping we'd do better but it's still 1 point better than our previous year, so I guess we are getting there!

 

Although some of our minor non-conformities seem very minor​ they are justified, and I understand that that's how SQF works. My question is in regards to how we determine a root cause for the ​dumb mistakes we made (for those of you that have been audited with the new SQF format, to satisfy the NC's you must now do a root cause analysis). For example we were deducted one point for not listing that we review the maintenance of trash bins in our daily operational inspections (11.9.1.6) Obviously I have put " trash containers are maintained clean and tidy without excess accumulation" on our daily operational inspection sheet as a corrective action.

 

But how do I do a root cause on this? NOTE: we previously had already listed on our daily operational inspection sheet, "Entire lines are clean, i.e. no excessive grease, spilled product, trash etc." which I neglected to bring up to argue the point deduction. Anyways for such a simple deduction it seems hard to find a better, actual reason, rather than 'it was overlooked' I find it hard to believe that will satisfy SQF's need for "root cause"

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

 

Thank you!


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#2 colts4u2

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 12:13 PM

I also just completed this process and found this somewhat frustrating. My answer would be that, "procedural guidance did not include a verifications step" of the action. I would be interested to hear some other responses to this.

 

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#3 Ryan M.

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 08:12 PM

We completed our SQF audit last month and a lot of the root cause analysis for the NC's were "oversight by management" or "misinterpretation of the SQF code by management".

 

A lot of it really comes down to that.  For us, it was fine with our auditor and it may in part be due to it being a new facility.


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#4 SQFLORENA

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 08:34 PM

Remember you have PAPERWORK CORRECTIVE ACTION 

 

 

The route cause can be "Inadequate monitor/trainig in daily operational inspections "

 

Result of investigation can be " SQF Practitioner failed to incorporate trash bins in daily operational inspections form "

 

Paper work deviation ( corrective action taken) trash bins will be incorporated in daily operational inspections form 

 

Done to prevent deviation Re train SQF Practitioner 


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#5 RMAV

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 08:47 PM

Where does it say you have to do a root cause for all your NC's?  I have not run into this issue.


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#6 Ryan M.

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 09:33 PM

Where does it say you have to do a root cause for all your NC's?  I have not run into this issue.

 

It is a new requirement when using the repositrak portal.  It was not required under the ETQ portal.


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#7 RMAV

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 09:54 PM

Huh...Repositrak is not the SQF code.  When I go to answer NC's, I'll just comment to that effect.  That said, I'll bet it will be required in SQF Edition 8


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#8 RMAV

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 09:56 PM

Sorry that should be Repositrak root cause requirement for audit NC's is not the SQF code.


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#9 Sharon (Dewsbury)

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 11:04 AM

I think they like to see a formal tool/technique to evaluate Root Cause. Fishbone diagram etc if its a big problem or just a simple 5 Y's record.

WHY did this happen,

WHY did that not work,

WHY didn't ............ etc.

WHY..........................

WHY.....................

Primary school kids are good at this, they constantly say WHY and eventually you come to the real reason.

Sharon


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#10 GMO

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 01:53 PM

We used to demand a root cause analysis for each point (as in put in 5 whys for each issue) but nowadays we just put the outcomes on our log.  Sometimes it's very simple and obvious, other times even the simple issues deserve more thought and may have multiple underlying causes including a tacit acceptance by supervisors if people are walking past something wrong day after day...


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#11 RMAV

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 01:53 PM

I think we all like to see it, but the only place root cause analysis is in the code is 2.5.5, Recall, and by extension, customer complaints (to the extent that root cause analysis would be required).  So if one of the NCs you get in the audit falls under 2.5.5, etc., perhaps it would be required then.  But if only Repositrak is calling for it, it's not required.  It's kind of like the SQF Guidance.  Nice to have, interesting information, but not binding.


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#12 Bailey39

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 02:43 PM

We completed our SQF audit last month and a lot of the root cause analysis for the NC's were "oversight by management" or "misinterpretation of the SQF code by management".

 

A lot of it really comes down to that.  For us, it was fine with our auditor and it may in part be due to it being a new facility.

 

and here lies my frustration... I fear these root causes analyses would trigger corrective actions like "re-training of management" like Sharon noted below. I certainly take no issue with retraining other managers in our facility; I believe management awareness is one of the biggest contributors of a successful food safety system. However, I was the one that updated the paper work and missed the daily trash check. There is no one available to retrain myself as I am really the only person at our facility that understands the SQF code and manages the program; It was an over sight on my part to not include a written check but I'm not sure how to issue "re-training" for myself, and my boss isn't going to approve for me to go be formally SQF practitioner trained, although I certainly wouldn't mind the extra education! (I am HACCP certified but have not gone through the SQF practitioner course). However I'm sure even the better trained individuals have small mistakes in their system..

 

I think they like to see a formal tool/technique to evaluate Root Cause. Fishbone diagram etc if its a big problem or just a simple 5 Y's record.

WHY did this happen,

WHY did that not work,

WHY didn't ............ etc.

WHY..........................

WHY.....................

Primary school kids are good at this, they constantly say WHY and eventually you come to the real reason.

Sharon

 Our auditor noted they don't need the entire root cause analysis, just the root cause itself, which seems to defeat the purpose. If they don't care to see that you did a root cause why ask for the final result?


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#13 Ryan M.

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 03:04 PM

Our auditor wanted the entire root cause analysis, but as a separate document than the summary of non-conformances.  In the summary of non-conformances we were to note the root cause itself.  There will be times where it is just an oversight and training won't necessarily help.  A misinterpretation or oversight is just that...it happens.  Fix it and move on.  


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#14 RMAV

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 05:08 PM

"and my boss isn't going to approve for me to go be formally SQF practitioner trained, although I certainly wouldn't mind the extra education! (I am HACCP certified but have not gone through the SQF practitioner course). However I'm sure even the better trained individuals have small mistakes in their system.."

 

I second Ryan M.  Unfortunate that you cannot attend a quality SQF training, though it is not required provided you are able to demonstrate competency in SQF.  There are better-trained individuals that have BIG mistakes in their system, so don't fell bad!  There is so much in the code that even those who score a 100 in modules 2 and 11 are likely to have holes.

 

For root cause, I like the SQF language under customer complaints, it states something like, "corrective action shall be implemented commensurate with the seriousness of the incident."  This keeps root cause analysis from running out of control paralyzing the system with frivolous investigations. 


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