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Traceability for Dusting Flour in Bakery


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mgourley

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 09:43 PM

Process flow background:

3 product lines

3 bulk flour silos (containing the same type of flour, but (maybe, probably) different lot numbers).

1 bulk "use bin" fed from whichever flour silo is in use when the use bin calls for flour

1 dusting flour hopper that is fed from the the use bin

 

This is the age old problem of traceability of bulk ingredients.

 

Currently, we log the date/time a lot of flour is pumped into the bulk silo(s).

We log what silo is in use for production and when a different silo is changed into.

We log date/time and line an operator takes flour out of the dusting flour hopper for use.

 

It's entirely possible that there could be 4 or (many) more lots of flour in the dusting flour hopper. 

 

BRC auditor strolls in and decides that the traceabiliity part of the audit will be on dusting flour.

 

How would YOU, with a reasonable expectation of success, determine what lots of flour have been used, which products they were used on and conduct a mass balance?

 

Marshall

 



Charles.C

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 12:47 AM

Process flow background:

3 product lines

3 bulk flour silos (containing the same type of flour, but (maybe, probably) different lot numbers).

1 bulk "use bin" fed from whichever flour silo is in use when the use bin calls for flour

1 dusting flour hopper that is fed from the the use bin

 

This is the age old problem of traceability of bulk ingredients.

 

Currently, we log the date/time a lot of flour is pumped into the bulk silo(s).

We log what silo is in use for production and when a different silo is changed into.

We log date/time and line an operator takes flour out of the dusting flour hopper for use.

 

It's entirely possible that there could be 4 or (many) more lots of flour in the dusting flour hopper. 

 

BRC auditor strolls in and decides that the traceabiliity part of the audit will be on dusting flour.

 

How would YOU, with a reasonable expectation of success, determine what lots of flour have been used, which products they were used on and conduct a mass balance?

 

Marshall

 

Dear mgourley,

 

As you say, seems to be a timeless topic.

 

Both pseudo- quantity and time-defined batches seem to be in use for continuous systems such as grain silos. I presume baking is no different.

 

Do yr  comments in OP refer to the inputs into a software package ?  (I assume packages will do mass balances, no experience myself)

 

If so, are you seeking a simpler option / proposal so as to avoid software altogether ?

 

Or seeking feedback on alternative softwares ?

 

Or  just probing the "market" ?

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


mgourley

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 10:46 AM

Charles,

 

I'm not looking at a software solution. I was just wondering if anyone has a better idea for tracking the flour, or has any real world experience/advice as a result of a BRC audit. 

 

From the manual paper logs we currently have in place, we can determine when a specific lot of flour came into the building and which bulk silo it went into. 

 

We can determine which bulk silo was in use from time "A" to time "B".

 

We can determine what time and what line dusting flour was dispensed for use on.

 

What we can't determine is what lots of flour are co-mingled in the use bin and in the dusting flour bin.

 

Therein lies the problem. How can effective traceability be conducted when you are not completely sure what lot numbers are involved?

 

Marshall



Charles.C

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 05:32 AM

Dear  mgourley,

 

Thks for the elaboration.

 

I did a little searching on yr query out of curiosity. At the risk of boring people, i hv offered a little more background in hope to encourage more responses.

 

The commingling feature is clearly a major grain / flour / milk / silo / usebin / food flow reactor (traceability) problem.

 

The difficulty, from a food recall POV,  is illustrated in its simplest form by this example / process requirements –

Attached File  com1 - produce traceability initiative, best practice repacking,commingling.pdf   130.74KB   86 downloads

 

Various FS incidents  have shown the safety / financial risks involved  in inadequate traceability provisions.

The industry scale / nature of the problem is detailed here –

 

Attached File  com2 - Traceability in Food Systems.pdf   1.26MB   75 downloads

( the IFT final report detailing proposed "solutions" / testing is attached (tr2) at following link. Impressive but not a quick read   -

http://www.ifsqn.com...ise/#entry66072

 

A fundamental difficulty as you imply is the definition of what is a lot / batch whatever.?  I presume at the moment you are using an arbitrary classification method,eg time, eg 24 hrs or a straight batch-by-batch system (of mixed input data) where the production order allows. Clearly, if used, the larger the time causes increase in documentation / any recall. Obviously any cleaning activity offers a natural separator.

 

I expect you are aware of this current US program in baking business –

http://www.gs1us.org...adiness-program

 

The program  mentions  processor responsibilities due the commingling aspect from, I guess,  a recall POV.  Approach looked analogous to earlier attachment to me. I did not see any suggestions for answering yr  specific question.

 

There are some theoretical solutions to yr problem in print particularly for grain silos although the maths can be bewildering (to me anyway). Some are within actual case studies and are practically followed up but they seem to be specific to the systems discussed. (typical approach is to postulate a layered structure of different inputs in usebin and work from dispersion / flowrate / time formulae. i doubt this is what you are seeking unless you can match such arrangements ?

 

One (but presumably software) solution appears to involve RFIDs. At a cost of course. i expect you are familiar with this already.

 

Repeating yr request, interesting to know what other people are doing.

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

PS - added later i subsequently saw this baking report/summary which seems to imply the likely continuation of typical (I anticipate) status quo  of mixed lot data. Plus the inevitability of software usage becoming routine   :smile:  -

 

Attached File  Baking Traceability in the New Era of Food Safety,2012.pdf   460.1KB   91 downloads

 

 

 


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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