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BRC protective clothing

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#1 WowQC

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 03:39 PM

Our production personnel wear white shirts, but we find that they look very dirty very soon, even when they are washed with bleach. Our product has a high oil content, and the oil stains the white shirts.

 

My question is: is it necessary for production personnel to wear white, or are other colours acceptable? We are considering changing to black so they look as little dirty as possible after laundering.

 

Most places I have seen use white and/or blue, but is that industry standard, or just common practice? BRC and SQF do not offer any clarification on this.

 

Thanks!



#2 MFSC

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 05:31 PM

As far as I know no standard on clothing colour. As long as you can show that they have been cleaned on a regular basis.

I used to work in a facility and we had QC in white shorts, Maintenance in dark blue, Management in light blue and many of our products had a high oil basis and I will tell you no colour of shirt is immune to that.



#3 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 06:49 PM

I don't know BRC well but I agree with MFSC.  If you have an outside uniform company that washes your uniforms then you will have proof if the inspector needs it that they are being laundered properly.

 

Have you thought of using disposable smocks to protect the clothes?


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#4 WowQC

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 06:59 PM

We do our laundering in-house. We understand that the oil stains will affect any colour, but we want a colour that will show it the least. We recently got new shirts, and already they look terrible. Even though they are "clean", they don't look it.

 

We just don't want to change if there is a "white shirt rule" :smile:



#5 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 07:08 PM

Under SQF we had 3 different colored work shirts for employees

 

White for floor operators

Light Blue for Quality

Dark Blue for Maintenance

 

I don't remember ever seeing any rules that everyone has to wear white in any of the 3 codes I've read before (SQF,BRC, FFSC)


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#6 Marshenko

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 07:35 PM

As long as you define what colors are acceptable for which personnel, you shouldn't run into any issues.  I've seen plants that had as many as 7 different colored coats:  Raw, RTE, sanitation, maintenance, management, warehouse, visitors



#7 WowQC

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 07:45 PM

Thanks for everyone's imput. :fixed:



#8 Tony-C

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 05:00 AM

There is no specified colour requirement, however there tend to be requirements that clothing is 'visibly clean'. If you changed to black my question would be could you still determine if the clothing is clean?

 

Regards,

 

Tony



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#9 WowQC

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:52 PM

The problem is that the current shirts don't look "visibly clean", even though they are. We have procedures for laundering, when to change shirts, etc. We don't want the stains to be so visible on clean shirts, and they would hide better on black. Shirts could still only be worn one shift, and changed if they become too dirty. You would still see if the black shirt was clean or just stained, but it wouldn't look so bad.

 

There is no specified colour requirement, however there tend to be requirements that clothing is 'visibly clean'. If you changed to black my question would be could you still determine if the clothing is clean?

 

Regards,

 

Tony



#10 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:59 PM

You could tell the difference between black shirts that are clean and are wet with oil and have food stuff in it...


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#11 WowQC

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 04:05 PM

You could tell the difference between black shirts that are clean and are wet with oil and have food stuff in it...

 

That's my thought as well, so I don't anticipate a problem, but wanted to see what other's experience has been. Thanks.



#12 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 04:36 PM

The only issue you might run into is if you have anything in your policies about not wearing clothes that are stained with oil/grease or other types of materials like those. 

 

I'd get different shades of dark black shirts, stain the crap out of them, and see if any of them don't change color when they are stained with your product.

 

If you find one that's a good color match so the stain doesn't show then you'll be good with that.  Then just make sure they are being cleaned properly and you should be fine.

 

I know what a deal it is though we had yellow brushes for non-food contact surfaces but they would get stained black with line grease so they were dirty and crappy looking even after they were cleaned.


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#13 Tony-C

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 06:12 PM

That's my thought as well, so I don't anticipate a problem, but wanted to see what other's experience has been. Thanks.

 

I do, I have seen dark coloured clothing in food handling operations but never black, so I suggest you talk to your customers, industry body and certification body before you invest heavily :eekout:

 

And .................get your ducks in a row concerning inspection and verification of cleanliness of the clothing because auditors will be going through it with a fine tooth comb.

 

Regards,

 

Tony



#14 moskito

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 04:52 PM

Hi,

 

for me the question is, whether the cothes are clean or not and the question is not, whether they look clean.

We (fine bakery ware industry; any kind of coloring raw materials: oil, cacoa, egg) have switched in the hygiene area to white for maintanance too. All cloth is personnalized and can bei identified by bar code. Of cource the cloth of maintanance will be collected and washed separately. 

In many cases their is not need to become so dirty if work is organized well and emplyees are educated in this way. Look to Japan. Japanse show us how to manage work not only in food industry. There is no need that people in food indistry looks more dirty than in automotive. If you asked your customers/consumers what their expectation is they will tell you that they expected cleaner people in food. Is this the reality? Asked your lean management team to visit other companies and other industries. I am sure many people in food industry will be surprised.

For improvement you need a long time because you have to change minds and awareness. We have started 10 years ago and we are still on the way. If you reduce contamination/impurification in general the described problem will not disappear, but will reduced to a larger extend.

 

Rgds

moskito



#15 Tony-C

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 05:19 PM

Hi,

 

for me the question is, whether the clothes are clean or not and the question is not, whether they look clean........................................

 

Rgds

moskito

 

Hi Moskito,

 

I have corrected your typo in the quote.

 

I agree clothes need to be clean but how do you decide they are clean? Micro swab with result 2 days later? A visual inspection is quick and effective, and certainly a good indicator, my concern is that WowQC proposes to use black clothing where it is highly unlikely that you can tell by an inspection whether they are clean or dirty.

 

Consider why you have switched to white but WowQC wants to use black clothing.

 

As an auditor I wouldn't be concerned if clothing had stains or was off white as long as they looked like they had been laundered. And.... I would always have a look at how the clothing was laundered during the audit.

 

Regards,

 

Tony



#16 moskito

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 01:11 PM

Hi Moskito,

 

I have corrected your typo in the quote.

 

I agree clothes need to be clean but how do you decide they are clean? Micro swab with result 2 days later? A visual inspection is quick and effective, and certainly a good indicator, my concern is that WowQC proposes to use black clothing where it is highly unlikely that you can tell by an inspection whether they are clean or dirty.

 

Consider why you have switched to white but WowQC wants to use black clothing.

 

As an auditor I wouldn't be concerned if clothing had stains or was off white as long as they looked like they had been laundered. And.... I would always have a look at how the clothing was laundered during the audit.

 

Regards,

 

Tony

Hi Tony,

 

in the hygiene area we have a daily switch of cothes. Eduction, organization of maschinery and work, awareness of employees and team spirit together with white clothes will force the reduction of impurification. Reduced impurification together with optimized laundring will improve appearance of clothes over time.

Together with workers council we are able to pick employees not willing to improve (-> bar code will tell us whether daily switch of cothes is done correctly) and select them for special education/training.

 

Regards

moskito



#17 WowQC

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 04:43 PM

Hi Moskito,

 

I have corrected your typo in the quote.

 

I agree clothes need to be clean but how do you decide they are clean? Micro swab with result 2 days later? A visual inspection is quick and effective, and certainly a good indicator, my concern is that WowQC proposes to use black clothing where it is highly unlikely that you can tell by an inspection whether they are clean or dirty.

 

Consider why you have switched to white but WowQC wants to use black clothing.

 

As an auditor I wouldn't be concerned if clothing had stains or was off white as long as they looked like they had been laundered. And.... I would always have a look at how the clothing was laundered during the audit.

 

Regards,

 

Tony

 

What about grey shirts? The product is a brown colour, and somewhat thick (like peanut butter), so it would show. It's just that when we launder the white shirts, they look grey very quickly. Should we just go with grey shirts to start with? Different shirts are worn during maintenance activities.



#18 Tony-C

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 03:16 AM

What about grey shirts? The product is a brown colour, and somewhat thick (like peanut butter), so it would show. It's just that when we launder the white shirts, they look grey very quickly. Should we just go with grey shirts to start with? Different shirts are worn during maintenance activities.

 

That would be better, not my personal choice but it probably wouldn't be frowned upon/scrutinised as much. I understand your product is a different colour (brown), you just need to consider that it is not just product that makes clothing dirty.

 

Regards,

 

Tony



#19 WowQC

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 07:47 PM

That would be better, not my personal choice but it probably wouldn't be frowned upon/scrutinised as much. I understand your product is a different colour (brown), you just need to consider that it is not just product that makes clothing dirty.

 

Regards,

 

Tony

 

Understood, but if they will turn a light grey colour during laundering, would having light grey shirts to start with be an issue? Thanks for all your help with this Tony.



#20 Tony-C

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 07:54 PM

Understood, but if they will turn a light grey colour during laundering, would having light grey shirts to start with be an issue? Thanks for all your help with this Tony.

 

I was thinking of light grey.

 

Regards,

 

Tony



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#21 WowQC

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 08:07 PM

Thanks Tony.



#22 Ruhama

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 02:44 PM

Our production personnel wear white shirts, but we find that they look very dirty very soon, even when they are washed with bleach. Our product has a high oil content, and the oil stains the white shirts.

 

My question is: is it necessary for production personnel to wear white, or are other colours acceptable? We are considering changing to black so they look as little dirty as possible after laundering.

 

Most places I have seen use white and/or blue, but is that industry standard, or just common practice? BRC and SQF do not offer any clarification on this.

 

Thanks!

Hi

 

The uniform you are using should be in colour that you will be able to see when is dirty. I have question for you, that is were you using the household bleach? I am asking this because household detergents are not allowed at processing facilities, and I am still looking for food grade stain remover. 


Regards

Ruhama Thooko

Quality Assurance Coordinator

Highlands Trout (Pty) Ltd

Jehova Jire

 


#23 Claudia_QP

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:00 PM

This might be helpful!

Attached Files



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#24 Simon

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 03:27 PM

That's great guidance, thanks guillenclau.


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