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Quality hazards; Woolworths Quality Assurance Standard – Version 5

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 10:22 PM

Dear Cosmo,

Thks the interesting technical comments.

What kind of range of ppm is known to trigger the situation you refer, eg 20ppm (+/-) ? ? This would appear to be relevant to the specification along with the accuracy of the detector.

Sort of reminiscent of microbiological "zero tolerance". Posted Image

Rgds / Charles.C

Dear Charles,
The levels that are stated as triggering most reactions is between 20 and 100ppm, however the issue is where a private label standard states "No detectable level of gluten". This means as we develope or improve tests that can accurately detect to a lower level, we tighten the food standard by virtue of the wording.
In USA the food standard for gluten is 20ppm, while in Australia it is 5ppm (test kit measures to 3ppm). Perhaps we create the issue with the technical writing aspect, where we make assumptions that the test kits we use today will be the same test kits we use tomorrow, and hence assume that the standard will be ammended in relation to a change in kit detection accuracy. Instead of writing a lower limit number in order to fix a point, we make our statements open ended (No detectable) and raise the bar ourselves.

Regards John


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Posted 08 May 2010 - 07:59 AM

Dear Cosmo,

One obvious question is "why is the standard in the USA seemingly more tolerant than Australia ?? Due to inferior technology or different interpretation of the safety aspect ?

If the latter, it then theoretically becomes a question of validation (hence my previous post). Or perhaps is a "precautionary principle" type scenario being invoked in Australia? (I guess yes from yr comments?)

Rgds / Charles.C

Kind Regards,




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Posted 16 December 2010 - 11:36 AM

Dear Charles,
Thank you.
If your thought is extended further , may we include, moisture ( water activity), temperature range which affect the nature of product, pH, salt or sugar concentration etc of the product.
Hope I may get further info from other members.
Best regards,

all above factors you mentioned earlier are intrinsic or extrinsic factor which affect microbiological growth. i would put them down as food safety hazrd insted of quality defects. as per my understanding quality harads mean freezer burn, poor color,odour etc.
hope this helps
minesh patel


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Posted 17 December 2010 - 12:11 PM

Hi Geetha,

It's probably a little late for this reply. I just joined this forum November 2010.

I've been developing the Woolworths Quality Assurance program since 2001. It's a very high standard. Hopefully one day, Woolworths will upgrade it so it can be approved by GFSI.

I have in fact implemented the WQA program for a small food manufacturing business that supplies products to McDonalds (who only require a HACCP program). Due to WQA also incorporating Quality, the food manufacturer does quite well with each audit.

Please let me know if you still require assistance with the quality elements.

A short spill though:

Quality should also accompany Regulatory and Allergen management. These three elements are very easy to slip into an established HACCP system.

Some examples of Quality, Regulatory and Allergen hazards/issues:

Quality Hazards

  • Product not handled with care
  • Product not conforming with product specifications such as
  • o Product underweight
  • o Product has six pieces when the packaging details seven pieces
  • o Product overcooked

Regulatory Hazards

These will depend on the law of your country. For example, in Australia, it is against the law to sell product under the weight specified on the packaging. Fines can be minimum $10,000. Therefore, a corrective measure is to ensure scales are calibrated every six months

Allergen Hazards
  • Allergen raw materials stored near non-allergen raw materials
  • Ineffective production cleaning between allergen and non-allergen products
  • All allergens not identified and known to staff members
  • Allergens not included on packaging label
Also FYI, WQA version 7 is meant to be released this month (December 2010).

Edited by JAKMQA, 11 January 2011 - 09:14 AM.

... helping you achieve food safety & quality assurance...

Melbourne Quality Assurance | Australia
www.melbourneqa.com | janette@melbourneqa.com
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