I run the FSQA department for a small business co-manufacturer that does high acid canning, craft soda production, and RTE sauces for small clients. Promoting and supporting local food producers is built into our company culture, alongside food safety. Recently, we were approached by a chicken broth company to make their product within our facility. This would be our first meat/poultry process. Last week my CEO, the broth company owner, and myself sat down with the state health department and the USDA. The consensus was that as long as the documentation was in place and approved, the final decision rested in our, the co-manufacturer, hands. The biggest fear the health department and I have is the increased risk and severity of cross contamination onto the production of our other products, especially our RTE sauces. If we decided to take this client, we would reserve a full week for production, remove everything from the production room that will not be used, and have two days to do a full clean (foam washing, equipment disassembly, air filter replacement, etc). Is this enough to significantly reduce the risk to our other FDA products? The three main factors to risk reduction for this production would be isolated time, isolated space, and increased sanitation. Unfortunately, the only equipment that would be reserved for this production is a convection oven. All other equipment (kettles, fill line, utensils) are also used in our other productions.
What are your thoughts?
I really appreciate your feedback!