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SQF Code 12.3.1


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#1 jenze

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 02:48 PM

Hello,

 

I'm in the middle of researching the SQF code for future move for our distribution center. I have a question about Code 12.3.1.1 and it reads -

 

"Personnel suffering from infectious diseases or are carriers of, any infectious disease are not permittedto work in the distribution center or in the transportation of food, and shall not engage in food handling operations,or be permitted access to storage areas where the product is exposed."

 

 
If I am reading the code correctly, this code would apply for cold storage food distribution. How would the facility adapt to this part if an employer cannot ask about an employees health or see their health record without breaking HIPPA law?
 
I'm new to the forum and appreciate everyone's effort in helping each other.
 
Thanks,
Jesus

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#2 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 11:40 PM

Hi Jesus,

 

This question was asked and answered previously here: http://www.ifsqn.com...-reporting-gmp/

 

The short answer is that you have protections that allow you to require employees to tell you when they have a communicable disease if they're working in a food plant, you just can't share that information with other employees which would violate their privacy, and you can't make hiring decisions based on that information.

 

The legalese is here: https://www.eeoc.gov...rant_guide.html


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#3 Charles.C

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 05:33 AM

 

Hello,

 

I'm in the middle of researching the SQF code for future move for our distribution center. I have a question about Code 12.3.1.1 and it reads -

 

 
If I am reading the code correctly, this code would apply for cold storage food distribution. How would the facility adapt to this part if an employer cannot ask about an employees health or see their health record without breaking HIPPA law?
 
I'm new to the forum and appreciate everyone's effort in helping each other.
 
Thanks,
Jesus

 

 

Hi Jesus,

 

afaik there is no Guidance document for the sqf Storage and Distribution standard.

 

However yr quote in OP is analogous, although not identical, to related GMP clauses in modules 11/13. These do have Guidance material.

 

Accordingly, JFI,  I extracted the relevant Guidance portions of modules 11/13 which are attached below.

 

Attached File  sqf 11.3.1 - personnel hygiene and welfare.png   455.71KB   0 downloads

Attached File  sqf 13.3.1 personnel hygiene-welfare guidance.png   457.69KB   0 downloads

 

From a quick look, I did not see any specific infectious diseases mentioned.

 

Offhand the Guidance/audit expectations seem (to me) to include certain activities, eg screening, which one wonders if legally permissible (eg scope in Qu 9/link post 2) although the opening Guidance paragraph does offer some "back-coverage" ?.

 

@3F, I note yr link is - 

"A Guide for Restaurants and Other Food Service Employers"

 

I anticipate this does not cover all Manufacturing industries ?. Only relates to Retail activities ?


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Charles.C


#4 jenze

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 01:27 PM

Thanks to both for your guidance. We are a 3PL and all our products are owned by our customers. We are only a storage and distribution center of prepackaged products. The customers' products are not exposed unless they are damaged. In the event the products are damaged, we are liable for them and issue a credit of the cost of the product and dispose of it. Will this SQF code require us to screen employees for communicable diseases?

 

Thanks,
Jesus


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#5 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 04:43 PM

Thanks to both for your guidance. We are a 3PL and all our products are owned by our customers. We are only a storage and distribution center of prepackaged products. The customers' products are not exposed unless they are damaged. In the event the products are damaged, we are liable for them and issue a credit of the cost of the product and dispose of it. Will this SQF code require us to screen employees for communicable diseases?

 

Thanks,
Jesus

In general no, you just need to make sure you have a policy that employees will not bring communicable diseases to work (of a food safety nature) and train them on that policy.

 

 

 

I anticipate this does not cover all Manufacturing industries ?. Only relates to Retail activities ?

Covers "food service" activities under any jurisdiction, relevant content (emphasis mine):

 

Yes, you may require current employees to make these reports. The ADA itself recognizes the danger to public health presented by diseases transmissible through the handling of food. See 42 U.S.C. . 12113(d)(1) and (2). The ADA also says that you may follow any state, county or local food handling law designed to protect the public health from the infectious and communicable diseases identified by the CDC. See 42 U.S.C. . 12113(d)(3). Such state, county or local food handling laws may include the Food Code's reporting requirements.

Therefore, food service employers who follow the FDA Food Code reporting requirements do not violate the ADA. The FDA Food Code reporting requirements are:

  • In section 2-201.11(A), an employee has to report whether he is diagnosed with an illness due to one of the Big 4 listed pathogens.
  • In section 2-201.11(B), an employee has to report whether he has any symptomsrelating to intestinal illness, boils or infected wounds.
  • In section 2-201.11©, an employee has to report if he has had a past illness due to one of the listed pathogens.
  • In section 2-201.11(D), an employee has to report if he meets one of the specific high-risk conditions for becoming ill due to one of the four listed pathogens.(6)
  • In section 2-201.13, an employee must get a medical clearance before the employer may lift the employee's exclusion or restriction.

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#6 Charles.C

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 08:41 AM

Hi 3F,

 

I suspect the ADA document is somewhat "antique" (or simply un-maintained) despite it's ending inclusion of 2014,  eg I noticed this comment -

 

The upcoming 2005 FDA Food Code............

Many of the links, especially FDA ones, seem broken. Not altogether unusual of course.

 

Amazingly the scope of application of  "food service" seems to be defined nowhere in all these US "food-service" documents.  A google definition of food service is -
 

The definition of food service is the industry related to making, transporting or selling prepared foods to restaurants, hospitals, schools and lodging establishments.

 

 

 

But above is I think probably incomplete. This, slightly OT, interpretation looked a more plausible one to me -

 

 

Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities

 

Two types of food service are provided in federal facilities. One type includes food service
venues in which food is sold (such as cafeterias, cafés, and vending machines) and customers
purchase their food and beverages from a variety of choices. The other type includes venues in
which food is served (such as federal hospitals, correction facilities, or military dining facilities),
and the government is responsible for providing individuals with meals that meet all or part of
their daily or weekly nutrition needs and individual choice may be limited.‡3  With the exception
of the food safety standards, which apply in both types of venues, the standards in the Food
Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities are written specifically for federal food service venues
where food is sold (although they can be adapted to venues where food is served).

 


 

I also noticed the ADA document's footnotes (No.2 is rather cryptic) -

 

1. References in this Guide to the "FDA Food Code" are to the FDA 2001 Food Code, available online at http://www.cfsan.fda.../fc01-toc.html . The Food Code is a model code developed by the FDA which is offered for adoption by local, state, and federal governmental jurisdictions for administration by the various departments, agencies, and other units within each jurisdication that have been delegated compliance responsibilities for food service, retail food stores, or food vending operations. Once adopted, the Food Code provisions become the regulatory requirements for that jurisdiction. In jursidictions where the Food Code has not been adopted, its provisions are not requirements for food establishments. In the text of the Guide, we presume that the Food Code has been adopted and, hence, refer to the Food Code as imposing requirements. This Guide applies general principles of the ADA to the Food Code.

2. Food service establishments are also "public accommodations" that are covered by Title III of the ADA, regardless of the number of employees. As public accommodations, food service businesses may need to make physical changes or other modifications to their facilities to serve members of the public with disabilities. The Department of Justice (DOJ) enforces Title III of the ADA and provides free information about it. You can contact DOJ at (800) 514-0301, or log onto www.ada.gov for more information.

 

 

Overall, I get the impression that the (Post 2) linked ADA document's scope is not targeted to routine manufacturing/distribution facilities as per the OP's query. Unless perhaps the OP is classified as a "food service distributor" within the context of SQF module 12 / this wiki -

https://en.wikipedia...iki/Foodservice

 

Then again there is perhaps another ADA document which is non-food service targetted. :smile:

 

Or another footnote.


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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