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How can a Wooden Constructed Ceiling be acceptable under HACCP?


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#1 Alan Kenney

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:59 AM

We are also a packaging manufacturing company for food products as well as many other commercial applications. We are in the process of upgrading our plant and work processes to become HACCP-certified under the IFS-PACsecure certification.

Our plant is 100,000 square feet in area with 60% of the area under an arched wooden truss roof structure, with smooth wood panels on the inside ceiling of the arches. Our paper bag production generates dust which collects on the ceiling and especially the beams and trusses. We have trialed using our scissor-lift with staff equipped with vacuums to clean the ceiling and beams/trusses and plan to do this on a monthly basis as part of our Master Cleaning Plan.

Our questions are:

1) Is it possible to become HACCP-certified with a smooth wood-panel ceiling and exposed wooden beams and trusses, if we have it cleaned regularly under a Master Cleaning Plan?

2) Is permeability of the wood an issue? The roof is water-tight and does not leak. However, all wall and ceiling material surfaces should ideally be non-permeable. Should we consider the significant expense of sealing the wood panels and beams/trusses for this requirement? Or is a Master Cleaning Plan sufficient?


Any input or advice from HACCP professionals who have had to deal with a wood roof issue for HACCP certification would be sincerely appreciated.


Sincerely,


akenney


I work for a company that manufactures food packaging. We are trying to come up with the best ways to regularly clean dust off of the overhead crane rails and off the I beams that support the roof. These surfaces are directly over the machines that produce our product. I would appreciate it if anyone would share how they approach cleaning these surfaces.



#2 john123

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:07 PM

You might have to include a visual inspection along with the scheduled cleaning. That way you can verify that there are no leaks or broken pieces of wood that can contaminate your product.

Our facility was in the same boat, years ago before I've started here. Our ceilings are all of the standard warehouse flavor, with wood trusses and fiberglass insulation. For us, we satisfied concerns back then by sheet rocking areas with active production, and auditors thus far have been happy with that result. Any place where product might be opened or worked with (such as our mills, cone blenders, packaging line, etc) are sheet rocked. Our HACCP addresses the storage areas that are exposed by stating that no receiving, shipping or WIP container is to be open in the storage areas. Two SQF auditors nodded and had no problem with it, GMA Safe auditors and various customer sponsored audits have been satisfied with it in the past.

I'm not sure if a solution like that would fit in your case. If there's exposed wood, no matter how you clean it or monitor it it's going to draw attention. Even with routine cleaning, for example, an auditor might question how you know your schedule is effective. If there are key areas you can identify and cover, that might reduce your costs of sealing the beams.



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#3 Alan Kenney

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:43 PM

Many thanks for your comments. We may need to consider sheetrocking our production areas as you suggested. We are also considering using possibly an acrylic resin as an option on the wood ceiling panels and beams / trusses.

Thanks again,

akenney


You might have to include a visual inspection along with the scheduled cleaning. That way you can verify that there are no leaks or broken pieces of wood that can contaminate your product.

Our facility was in the same boat, years ago before I've started here. Our ceilings are all of the standard warehouse flavor, with wood trusses and fiberglass insulation. For us, we satisfied concerns back then by sheet rocking areas with active production, and auditors thus far have been happy with that result. Any place where product might be opened or worked with (such as our mills, cone blenders, packaging line, etc) are sheet rocked. Our HACCP addresses the storage areas that are exposed by stating that no receiving, shipping or WIP container is to be open in the storage areas. Two SQF auditors nodded and had no problem with it, GMA Safe auditors and various customer sponsored audits have been satisfied with it in the past.

I'm not sure if a solution like that would fit in your case. If there's exposed wood, no matter how you clean it or monitor it it's going to draw attention. Even with routine cleaning, for example, an auditor might question how you know your schedule is effective. If there are key areas you can identify and cover, that might reduce your costs of sealing the beams.



#4 Charles.C

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:43 PM

Dear Alan,

I'm curious what "packaging manufacturing company" actually meant ?

Not a packaging person myself but it is possible that a risk assessment of yr "process" area may significantly depend on whether packaging is intended for direct food contact or not ?

I presume there is no actual food processing / manipulation of exposed food product involved.

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 Alan Kenney

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:35 PM

Hi Charles:

We manufacture both paper and plastic bags for food-contact applications as well as many other retail and commercial applications. There is no actual food processing at our plant, and the plant floor is a "food-free" area to prevent any potential allergen transmission.

Since almost all of our machines typically manufacture some type of food packaging product (both direct contact as well as indirect), we must address the wooden roof issue and develop a cleaning procedure and quite possibly the application of a sealant.

Thank you for posting my question. It was sincerely appreciated.


Alan

Dear Alan,

I'm curious what "packaging manufacturing company" actually meant ?

Not a packaging person myself but it is possible that a risk assessment of yr "process" area may significantly depend on whether packaging is intended for direct food contact or not ?

I presume there is no actual food processing / manipulation of exposed food product involved.

Rgds / Charles.C






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