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Definition of A Successful Product Trace

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 10:43 PM

Hey everyone,


My company (a soybean oil processor) recently passed our 2nd recertification Level 2 SQF audit (4 non-conformances).  We were not docked for it but our auditor questioned our definition of a successful product trace for a lot as 97%+.  We ship in 50K lb or 200K lb and a lot of product is potentially left in piping and scaling error, even within manufacturers tolerance, can really throw this off.  97% was set internally as we couldn't find any material to reference as an acceptable standard.  Anyone have any idea on what I could use based on a government regulatory standard or other worthy reference?  Thanks! 



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Posted 21 January 2014 - 11:42 PM

Dear andycarlson,


I presume yr actual  recovery was 97.1% ?  :smile:


What did the auditor expect ? 100% ? Most likely no idea.


I  doubt that any fixed standard exists since, as per yr description,  processes / pipings vary and are presumably opaque.  


My guess is that most people are using ballpark numbers unless the food is gold-coated. 5% deviation always sounds a persuasive choice to me.


Offhand, it sounds like either the auditor was simply nitpicking or disappointed to not be further educated, so bit back   :smile:


Maybe there are some soyabean importers here ?


Rgds / Charles.C

Kind Regards,




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Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:07 AM

Hiya Andy


I think you'll find that most manufacturers will factor a wastage level, this is for the reasons you stated, flushing of pipework and machinery; getting correct weights and other quality issues. You also have to take into consideration continuous processes and line efficiencies.


What I have done (with our engineer) is calculated the volume of product in the pipework in order to prime our system, added to that the accuracy of the weight of the product coming in, and taken into consideration give away ( I collated historic data from our packs to show that in a 250g pack, over a batch we "gave away" 0.5g per pack )  I used this figure then to calculate our potential wastage. This was then built into our mass balance for traceability.


Hope this helps


Caz x

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 12:41 PM

some places guarantee 100% recall by setting an overage level in their system.   In one plant I worked in we had constant regrind so it was in our system that if a product was recalled we would recall a week around the bad product to make sure that it was fully contained. We typically ran through a products regrind within a few days so a week around it would completely contain any product and regrind that was made.


(on a side not there was no way to be able to tell when the regrind was started and stopped I had suggested running one regrind silo at a time and then running it out or dumping it to a farm when it was full so that we had a clean start and stop but they rejected that idea)

Edited by MerleW, 22 January 2014 - 12:41 PM.


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