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SQF 7 Sanitary Facilities Airlocks


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#1 KDuf

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:25 PM

Hello IFSQN Community,


I'm Keith, a new member to IFSQN, though I've already gathered a lot of information from browsing the forums. I'm also in charge of directing our package manufacturing company, with about 200 employees, toward SQF certification. We hope to expand our "food contact packaging" business, though we already have a significant volume of food packaging running through our facility.


I'm looking at our restroom compliance for SQF certification the SQF manual states:
13.3.8.1 ii. Toilet rooms shall be accessed from the manufacturing area via an airlock vented to the exterior or through an adjoining room.


We have two food-grade production are restrooms, and I'm wondering what updates are needed.

1. There are two bathrooms at the end of a hallway that leads directly into the manufacturing area. The hallway is approximately 10 meters long, but there is no wall or airflow block.

2. A unisex bathroom opens directly to a manufacturing area.

Both bathrooms have a ventilation system that could be enlarged, but I still don't think this would satisfy the "airlock" requirement of SQF. Are there any other solutions than building additional walls and doors around our bathroom entrances to make these airlocks? Also, as far as audit risk, is it ever a good idea to leave a specific area unaddressed or partially addressed and to simply risk getting points deducted?


Sorry for the long preamble and questions, but I didn't want to be asked "can we please have more information?". Thank you for any input. I appreciate all of your inputs and the time that is dedicated to this forum.

Regards,

Keith



#2 KDuf

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 02:15 PM

I believe I've answered my own question, and should this issue be raised by another, I'll throw out my finding.

From SQFI document (located at sqfi.com/documents): SQF 2000 Guidance for Food Packing Materials, Production and Distribution (outdated, but still helpful)


"Restroom facilities will preferably be located so that they do not open directly into the manufacturing

area.

A basic requirement is that staff will enter toilet rooms from processing areas through either an
intervening change rooms or air lock. Where restroom facilities are immediately accessible to the
manufacturing area, the light and exhaust fan shall be interwired to create negative pressure if deemed
necessary by hazard analysis. Employee restrooms shall be properly equipped with exhaust fans and
hand wash facilities. To eliminate the risk of airflow from restrooms moving into the processing room,
exhaust fan off-switches may be on timer delay. The light and exhaust fan may be on a single switch
located on the outside of the restroom."


From this information alone, I believe I'll be able to create a plan that is satisfactory to SQF auditors. Additional comments and/or experiences (e.g. how do you satisfy this requirement?) from others would still be appreciated.

Best,

Keith


 



#3 D-D

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 05:25 PM

I'm not familiar with this standard but IMO this is not worded very well:
"Restroom facilities will preferably be located so that they do not open directly into the manufacturing area"
To me, the word "preferably" makes this a nice-to-have or something that can be planned for in the future if it is not already in place. This is then followed by "basic requirement" and "shall" is used several times...

p.s. well done for answering your own question - wish I could do that! :unsure:


Edited by D-D, 02 November 2012 - 05:27 PM.





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