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Retention period of keeping documents


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#1 hygienic

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 07:01 PM

Dear All;



What is the best retention period for keeping the documents (forms,checklists,and records) is there a specific standard for that? in our manual we mentioned for example for the internal audit summary report , internal audit plan and corrective action report for three years (Retention Period) , what about the other documents ?

please advice

Regards
Hygienic



#2 Madam A. D-tor

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 09:05 PM

Dear Hygienic,

Retention times depends on:
- legal/ fiscal requirements;
- customer requirements;
- shelf life period;
- intended use of your products;
- need for trend analyses and verification.

The retention time should be longer then the shelf life of your products.
If you know that your customers can use your products in their products (B2B) you need also to cover the shelf life of your customer. e.g. your product is fresh vegetables with only few weeks shelf life and your customer is using it in sterilised soup with shelf life of 2 years. It is the same for known house freezing of your products by consumers.
Records should be kept for at least a year to provide information for review, verification and trend analyses. There can be a need to keep them available for a longer period.


Kind Regards,

Madam A. D-tor

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#3 gcse-fhp

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 10:52 PM

Dear Hygienic,

Retention times depends on:
- legal/ fiscal requirements;
- customer requirements;
- shelf life period;
- intended use of your products;
- need for trend analyses and verification.

The retention time should be longer then the shelf life of your products.
If you know that your customers can use your products in their products (B2B) you need also to cover the shelf life of your customer. e.g. your product is fresh vegetables with only few weeks shelf life and your customer is using it in sterilised soup with shelf life of 2 years. It is the same for known house freezing of your products by consumers.
Records should be kept for at least a year to provide information for review, verification and trend analyses. There can be a need to keep them available for a longer period.


Well said, Madam A. D-tor! This covers it. To be sure regarding the point about the "legal/ fiscal requirements" You need to check your provincial or state and national statutory, legal and fiscal obligations for the types of documents in question. It is likely that different rules may apply depending on your jurisdiction. The other parts about industry practice for document retention is right on.


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#4 mind over matter

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 04:41 AM

Dear All;



What is the best retention period for keeping the documents (forms,checklists,and records) is there a specific standard for that? in our manual we mentioned for example for the internal audit summary report , internal audit plan and corrective action report for three years (Retention Period) , what about the other documents ?

please advice

Regards
Hygienic

Keep your documents in accordance to:
- Legal requirements
- As required by contract or other devices
- Potential for litigation
- Frequency / need of referencing
- As you see fit to do so

Remember, they're your documents. You decide what to do with them and when to do it.

Don't forget you also need to consider: timeframe for ISO 22000 registration is 3 years - so keep records (management review, NCRs etc) no shorter than that.

Edited by mind over matter, 02 January 2012 - 04:43 AM.


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#5 Simon

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 10:34 AM

In BRC I have a feeling it says product shelf life plus 12 months - in which case it could be very customer specific.

Can anyone confirm what it says in relevant GFSI standards - is it specific?

Regards,
Simon


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#6 GMO

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 11:54 AM

In BRC I have a feeling it says product shelf life plus 12 months - in which case it could be very customer specific.

Can anyone confirm what it says in relevant GFSI standards - is it specific?

Regards,
Simon


I'm certain it does too but you will no doubt find that customers will specify longer than this. I think I've put in my quality document something along the lines of "minimum product life plus 12 months or to meet customer requirements, whichever is longer" but in practice we scan all paperwork anyway so we will keep it for min 10 years if we can.

#7 George @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 02:35 AM

The BRC Issue 6 - 3.3.2 states a minimum retention period of the shelf life plus 12 months.

It states that the retention period should be defined based on consideration of legal and customer requirements. This should be the basis of the defined retention period. Where there is no legal or customer prescribed considerations the minimum requirements of the standard should apply.



#8 DeeTeeQA

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Posted 21 April 2016 - 02:39 PM

Hello Everyone,

 

I had a question about record retention for maintenance documentation.  We keep most records for 3 years with food safety records for 7 years. 

 

We have lift truck maintenance records that go back 12+ years, would it be safe to discard up to the 3 year point?  I looked in the OSHA documentation and all that covers is the records for injuries and deaths, not machine maintenance. 

 

Just need to know if I can empty out some of our overstuffed binders.  Make things a little easier to go through and find information.

 

All advice greatly appreciated.

 

Nita






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