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#1 ELarson

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 02:55 PM

I am the QA supervisor at a RTE facility and need some opinions/suggestions.

Sanitation and production employees have been nesting our 55 gallon containers that we use to store open raw materials or WIP in.

Should we eliminate the practice of nesting these, using liners between the containers if they are nested or stack them on top of each other with their lids in-between.  They are being nested after they are cleaned and sanitized. My fear is that employees will pull them apart and place on floor and then potentially nest back together.  Please see attached Picture of nested ingredient containers.

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#2 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 04:45 PM

That's a tough one, because just "enforcing the behavior" isn't a good foolproof solution to the scenario you described.

 

You could use a blanket policy of "once it's been de-nested, it's dirty", but I imagine you would nest dirty ones on their way back to sanitation as well, and has the issue I just mentioned of not being foolproof.

 

I don't think the liners solves your problem, and one issue I've seen with "nested" materials in the past is that if they're stacked wet, even if clean, they'll stay wet and grow mold in storage.

 

My solution would be to choose one of two policies:

 

1. No nesting unless dirty (this way they can be nested in storage as long as they're cleaned and sanitized before use), and all nested materials will be considered "dirty" and unusable, eliminating your scenario.

2. No nesting at all.

 

I chose the latter for 5g buckets in my facility, either they would get stacked wet and have the problems above, or it became hard to differentiate what was clean and dirty.

 

-Austin


QA Manager and food safety blogger in Oregon, USA.

 

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#3 Ryan M.

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 07:05 PM

The fear you have is only one aspect of the risk.  If they are nested before they fully dry then you can have microbial activity, especially if they do not fully clean the outside/exterior surfaces.

 

As a good practice nesting of ingredient/product containers should be eliminated.  I would even go as far as eliminating nesting of sanitation buckets; I have seen a number of facilities nest these without realizing the potential hazards.



#4 SQFconsultant

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 07:21 PM

The facility we have in process does not allow nesting regardless of size for the very reason that Ryan pointed out and as consultants we just saw a company have a micro issue due to stacking.


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