I did it! I got a list of all of our raw materials, and the vendors! And the specs! And the COAs! AND my receiving department isn't accepting things without a COA! Hooray!
So now I'm at the part where I take the COA and do raw material testing to check it to see if it's right. I don't have a micro lab and micro testing on all incoming ingredients is ridiculously impractical - BUT
I have three cubicle walls, and I can totally, easily, quickly, and cheaply test a lot of common COA specs - pH, color (if analyzer spec), brix, viscosity, moisture, fat content if I really wanna blow the budget on fancy equipment.
I would like to test these specs for incoming ingredients and reject the ingredient if it doesn't meet spec. This is practice I have experience with and I have seen inaccurate COAs, which means I know there's a reason and we gotta make sure they aren't ripping us off and selling us something 20% extra water. Or 5% thinner. Or acrid with a low pH from rotting. It happens! Etc.
It would not be practical to send these out to a 3rd party lab (for pH? Really?). I have my instruments on a regular calibration schedule with certificates, logs of all "satellite lab" activities, white papers,and receiving and lot tracking info for all testing materials. I calibrate my pH meter every time I use it. If something is out of spec, I resample and retest. I have SOPs for raw material testing. I was a microbiologist for years so my stuff comes correct. I use AOAC standard methods.
Is it necessary, to ensure food safety and quality, comply with the standards set forth in the most current SQF code AND general best manufacturing practices, to further validate or verify the methodology or equipment I use, or is the current documentation sufficient?
If so, what kind of record or study would that be? I mean, I have them calibrated, I have the white papers. Is it necessary to send a duplicate set samples to a 3rd party lab to ensure they are reproducing results or obtain a laboratory certification? I'm really lost as to what section of the code to reference as I'm not used to SQF standards and they seem vague and open to wild interpretation to me.
Edited by Simon, 30 April 2014 - 05:57 PM.
Offensive language removed