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Does Maintenance Shop need to be a GMP area like production?


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#1 zac2944

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:59 PM

I'm making some major building modification to prepare for SQF, and I'd like to consider my maintenance shop separate from the production area, and say that production area GMPs don't apply.  Can I do this? 

 

My shop has lathes, mills, cutting and grinding, etc.  It is kept tidy, but gets dirty on a regular basis and there are metal chips and cutting oil on everything while guys are working.  If my shop is separated from production by walls/doors, and I have a hand wash station that maintenance uses before entering production, can I say that production floor GMPs don't apply in the maintenance shop?  I certainly can't keep it as clean.



#2 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 05:15 PM

is it connected to production, even through a shared hallway, has production equipment stored or worked on in it.  Do your maintenance people have different clothes or smocks for when they enter production?  Do they have separate boots for when they leave the maintenance area?

 

Typically maintenance shops are treated mostly like production rooms because of some of these factors.  Hair could fall on a piece of equipment while they are working on it and then brought into the production rooms when they are done. 

 

Parts should be obviously be cleaned and sanitized before they are brought into the production rooms due to residue from work in the maintenance shop (cutting/grinding/wielding work).


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#3 zac2944

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 08:25 PM

Maintenance shop is connected to production by a shared hallway.  Clothes and shoes are the same, but maintenance techs are trained to change to clean clothes if they get dirty, and we have stick mats for shoes prior to leaving the maintenance shop.  We clean parts before returning to products, but sanitizing is not something we do currently.

 

My process is food packaging; large rolls of printed film that make up food pouches and lids.  My production area is large printing presses and laminator.  Not the cleanest environment, but also lower risk than a raw food facility.  The only surfaces we sanitize are product contact surfaces like cylinders, rollers, and roll handling equipment.  The rest of the areas is just kept free of dust and debris to prevent foreign material contamination.

 

I would still have my maintenance techs wearing hairnets in the maintenance shop, but I wouldn't have them wash hands prior to entering the shop.  They would wash prior to entering production, but not prior to entering the maintenance shop.  Doesn't make sense to me to have them wash before when they are just going to get dirty as soon as they start working.

 

How are others doing this?  Are your shops immaculate and sanitized?  How do you rebuild a grease filled gear box and not get you and the work area a mess?  Do you have your guys washing prior to entering the shop and doing such messy work?

 

I'm about to spend big money installing hand washing stations and want to make sure I'm doing this right.  Don't want to fail my audit and then have to relocate a bunch of plumbing.



#4 Urban Explorer

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 11:33 PM

Zac,

 

The maintenance shop is the bane of any quality assurance personnel's existence.  Ours is tucked in a back corner where they keep expanding and we have to beat them back with sticks like rats in NYC.  We are a ready-to-eat facility so our standards have to be very high for USDA, etc.  They are basically in the warehouse so we don't make them follow handwashing rules while they are working in their area.  However, they are still required to wear coats and hairnets while working with food equipment.

 

Once it is repaired, the machine is thoroughly washed and sanitized before entering the processing room.  All maint techs must go through our changing room and they wash their hands and put on disposable aprons and sleeves and walk though a foot bath. They still are not 100 percent up to my OCD standards, but they do not handle product directly so I can live with that.  Any machines they repair in the room are sanitized after (you really should do this, you can't sanitize enough) and their tools are sanitized before and after.  Keep a log of this, SQF will need it.

 

So in short, you don't need a handwashing station in your maint shop per SQF.



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#5 Tony-C

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 05:52 AM

I'm making some major building modification to prepare for SQF, and I'd like to consider my maintenance shop separate from the production area, and say that production area GMPs don't apply.  Can I do this? 

 

My shop has lathes, mills, cutting and grinding, etc.  It is kept tidy, but gets dirty on a regular basis and there are metal chips and cutting oil on everything while guys are working.  If my shop is separated from production by walls/doors, and I have a hand wash station that maintenance uses before entering production, can I say that production floor GMPs don't apply in the maintenance shop?  I certainly can't keep it as clean.

 

Hi Zac,

The applicable controls vary and since your product is food packaging it would be regarded as lower risk. The expectation is that a separate maintenance area does not have to meet the same GMP standards as a production area but it should be clean and tidy.

Measures should be taken to reduce risk, such as swarf mats that have been mentioned, change of clothing if carrying out an activity which may produce a hazard such as cutting/grinding/welding. As you say the maintenance staff need to make sure their protective clothing is clean, my concern is also footwear if the maintenance shop is in a poor state and the guys are trampling bits of swarf etc. into the production area then climbing over machinery.

I think hand wash in the maintenance shop although not essential is not a bad idea as it sends a message that hygiene is still important even though the area is separate from production. Out of interest where are parts cleaned/sanitized as to my mind if you don't have clean hands how can to clean/sanitize?

Regards,

Tony






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