Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation
Photo
- - - - -

How to manage 100's of finished product specifications...

specifications finished product SQF

  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 ChocolatesMyGame

ChocolatesMyGame

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 37 posts
  • 6 thanks
6
Neutral

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:18 PM

Hi, 

I'm hoping there is someone out there in a similar situation that can offer some insight on how to manage finished product specifications when you produce 100's of finished product items.  We are a confections and snacks plant producing many types of enrobed products, nuts, and popcorn, all sold in many different ways (bulk, multiple retail units, customer specific units, etc).  

 

Do auditors for SQF want to see specs that include packaging used or is it sufficient to develop a spec for each TYPE of product (cheese popcorn, chocolate covered cream, etc) that states micro limits, weight specs, production requirements, etc. and not include packaging?  As a side note, for some customers we do fill out their spec sheet and agree to the spec for their specific product.

 

Thanks!



#2 mruth84

mruth84

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 21 posts
  • 4 thanks
0
Neutral

  • United States
    United States

Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:40 PM

I am in a similar situation and would be interested to hear some responses.  ChocolatesMyGame are you level 2 or 3?



#3 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 17,376 posts
  • 4836 thanks
943
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 28 May 2014 - 05:59 AM

Hi, 

I'm hoping there is someone out there in a similar situation that can offer some insight on how to manage finished product specifications when you produce 100's of finished product items.  We are a confections and snacks plant producing many types of enrobed products, nuts, and popcorn, all sold in many different ways (bulk, multiple retail units, customer specific units, etc).  

 

Do auditors for SQF want to see specs that include packaging used or is it sufficient to develop a spec for each TYPE of product (cheese popcorn, chocolate covered cream, etc) that states micro limits, weight specs, production requirements, etc. and not include packaging?  As a side note, for some customers we do fill out their spec sheet and agree to the spec for their specific product.

 

Thanks!

Dear ChocolatesMyGame,

 

It likely depends on the context of yr question.? eg Paragraph ?

 

I am guessing  primarily within a haccp / hazard analysis context.?

 

If so there are maybe 10 similar threads to yr OP on this forum for a variety of food standards. Particularly from people in the foodservice and flavorings business. The generic haccp answer in such situations has usually been that grouping is allowed via various criteria, eg "equivalent"  flow patterns, CCPs etc. Several examples / links are available if you search a little, eg "foodservice".

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#4 ChocolatesMyGame

ChocolatesMyGame

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 37 posts
  • 6 thanks
6
Neutral

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 28 May 2014 - 03:11 PM

I am in a similar situation and would be interested to hear some responses.  ChocolatesMyGame are you level 2 or 3?

 mruth84,

 

We currently are working towards putting together our Level 2 SQF program- we are not yet certified.  I'm trying to think broad picture because with so many items it becomes overwhelming to get too detailed.  I am thinking to manage what packaging is used for specific finished product items, we will be managing that through our Bill of Materials.

 

 

Dear ChocolatesMyGame,

 

It likely depends on the context of yr question.? eg Paragraph ?

 

I am guessing  primarily within a haccp / hazard analysis context.?

 

If so there are maybe 10 similar threads to yr OP on this forum for a variety of food standards. Particularly from people in the foodservice and flavorings business. The generic haccp answer in such situations has usually been that grouping is allowed via various criteria, eg "equivalent"  flow patterns, CCPs etc. Several examples / links are available if you search a little, eg "foodservice".

 

Rgds / Charles.C

  Hi Charles. C-

 

I am looking at finished product specifications (more specifically in reference to SQF clause 2.3.5.1 about finished product specifications) which in the SQF clause do call out labeling and packaging requirements (however they appear to be optional due to the words "may include" in front).  My question is how vague can the "packaging requirements" be?  I'm wondering if I can write in the specifications "see Bill of Materials for specific packaging items used"?  Again, I would be making 100's of product specifications if I need to make one for each finished product... :w00t:


Edited by ChocolatesMyGame, 28 May 2014 - 03:21 PM.


#5 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 17,376 posts
  • 4836 thanks
943
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 28 May 2014 - 05:54 PM

Dear CMG,

 

Apologies but I'm too lazy to plough through the SQF website to see if the para.you mention is related to haccp or not. :smile:

 

As a side-issue, regardless of SQF, is your company not anyway obliged to develop a complete product specification for every sub-species purely from a commercialisation aspect ? My own experience is with a listing of many hundreds of items, probably approaching 1000, not a minor undertaking  but simply unavoidable for accounting purposes. This aspect was also brought up in the previous threads.

 

Additionally I predict that the standard's haccp portion, if other than para.2.3.5.1, will require detailed product specs for all groupings based on safety criteria (this is usually fundamental to a haccp plan IMEX). The previous consensus was, i think, that no (safety-related) reason could be seen for detailing individual product-by-product packaging where the only variation was in dimensions of the same material (and by implication the net weight also).

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#6 CMHeywood

CMHeywood

    Grade - SIFSQN

  • IFSQN Senior
  • 452 posts
  • 114 thanks
37
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Neenah, Wisconsin

Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:59 PM

Look for specification databases such as Intellapac (www.intellapac.com).  This should satisfy your certification body for a specification register.



#7 Abbie Y

Abbie Y

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 7 posts
  • 3 thanks
1
Neutral

  • United States
    United States

Posted 29 May 2014 - 12:38 PM

We have a similar situation at our facility. Our company holds Level 2 SQF...our third audit ahead this summer...we handled this issue by keeping our specification statement somewhat loose in our FSQM...we included the following:

 

Product Specifications may include microbiological, labeling and packaging specifications. Catalog and web site product descriptions also serve as product specifications.

 

 

 

some of our products we sell wholesale as well as retail. For those, I ensure we have detailed specs. For some of out other "web site only" sales, we do not have formal specs on file. So far, this has satisfied the SQF code.



Thanked by 1 Member:

#8 ncwingnut

ncwingnut

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 82 posts
  • 21 thanks
5
Neutral

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:North Carolina
  • Interests:Horses, Boxer dogs, cross stitch, MMORPGs, regulatory affairs stuff...and on and on....

Posted 30 May 2014 - 01:57 AM

We have over 10,000 formulas, of which about 4,500 are active.  Our specifications don't have packaging requirements on them, just storage temperature (which is ambient for all our flavors...we do food flavorings and extracts, powder and liquid).  Next week will be our 3rd recertification and we've never had an issue.  Packaging is customer specific.

 

Now, we do have specifications for each type of packaging, but those are not on our finished good specs.  They are stand alone.



#9 cazyncymru

cazyncymru

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • Banned
  • 1,604 posts
  • 337 thanks
125
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male

Posted 30 May 2014 - 08:45 AM

Forgive me if I've misunderstood this, but I would have thought that you would need to hold a product spec for ever raw material, and for every final product?

 

How would you know recipe, what to pack and in what container type, and coding requirements etc?

 

I've also worked in an industry where we had @ 4000 raw materials, and @ 400 final product. we still held a spec for each item.

 

Caz



#10 ncwingnut

ncwingnut

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 82 posts
  • 21 thanks
5
Neutral

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:North Carolina
  • Interests:Horses, Boxer dogs, cross stitch, MMORPGs, regulatory affairs stuff...and on and on....

Posted 30 May 2014 - 10:47 AM

We have all specs - ingredients ( we use nothing raw), packaging and finished product.  We use over 3,200 ingredients.  We have over 250 vendors.  We have all specs from all vendors (main and alternate) under our internal ingredient numbers.  We can't put ingredient specs on a finished product spec - it would be giving away formulas.  Hence, they are all seperate and this has never been an issue.  I have a folder in our document control system for each one.



#11 ChocolatesMyGame

ChocolatesMyGame

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 37 posts
  • 6 thanks
6
Neutral

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 02 June 2014 - 06:07 PM

Yes- we manage materials and recipes through our electronic Bill of Materials system so we have that covered.  Thank you ncwingnut! Sounds like you are in a similar boat with us and we are going in the right direction!



Thanked by 1 Member:

#12 ncwingnut

ncwingnut

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 82 posts
  • 21 thanks
5
Neutral

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:North Carolina
  • Interests:Horses, Boxer dogs, cross stitch, MMORPGs, regulatory affairs stuff...and on and on....

Posted 02 June 2014 - 07:09 PM

Yes- we manage materials and recipes through our electronic Bill of Materials system so we have that covered.  Thank you ncwingnut! Sounds like you are in a similar boat with us and we are going in the right direction!

 

You are very welcome :)

 

Lynn



#13 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 17,376 posts
  • 4836 thanks
943
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 03 June 2014 - 07:47 AM

Dear CMG/All,

 

An interestingly meandering thread. :smile: The original OP contained -

 

Do auditors for SQF want to see specs that include packaging used or is it sufficient to develop a spec for each TYPE of product (cheese popcorn, chocolate covered cream, etc) that states micro limits, weight specs, production requirements, etc. and not include packaging?

 

 

I have deduced from this thread that most people support the idea of having 1 product spec / commercialised item even if some are not there yet or have restricted interpretations of "there".

 

The answer IMEX for packaging is that internally, somewhere, the full packaging details for every item will exist due (a) Purchasing requirements and (b) if otherwise  there is no way to "price" the Production and add the 50% on top. :smile: Such knowledge is often in the "007" part of the Intranet or squirelled away in Production Manager's bottom drawer.

 

But for the aimed-at QA product specs for everything commercialised, I agree with previous post that a blanket grouping for Packging suffices in a FS context (I would have added a Food Grade /  "legislatory" to the example previously given.) This generates the so-called "typical product specification" (ie no guarantee as to 100% routine compliance, sort of COC).

 

However I do encounter one not-so-rare exception which is "customer-driven". Some external customers supply their own specification for mutual acceptance. Some of these demand documentation of everything down to copies of original material testing by official bodies. The often stated reason is that not required by the receiver but legally required for any distribution in the country of destination. Frequently no easy QA riposte to that one due lack of local knowledge / customs / leverage. So this creates a specific category in its own right, the "Be careful With This One" Group.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#14 fgjuadi

fgjuadi

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • Banned
  • 898 posts
  • 198 thanks
22
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male

Posted 03 June 2014 - 11:07 AM

It seems like it's hard because, well, my popcorn could come in the snowflake tin, or the fur tree tin, or the gingerbread tin.  And it's way more work to make three specs than to make one for popcorn in tin. 

 

I have the same problem with truffles - we have a selection around 50 and people can order the varieties in ratios they like, and we have a nightmare inventory of hundreds of types of boxes.  Little butterfly boxes!  Fancy rope boxes.  Modern black boxes.  Etc. 

 

Do I come up with a new spec every time a cruise ship wants blue and yellow truffles in a box hot stamped with their logo and we make 400 towers?  What if this is the 5th time they've ordered that and I know it will be ordered semi regularly?  Or a spec for each truffle?

 

I've landed in the middle and have a spec for "Custom Box (Inventory #)" .  For our regular custom orders I have specs as well.  I don't do one offs like wedding or corporate retreat customers, their order serves as a spec.  And for wineries, we have regular sets of truffles that pair with wines, so we had red wine set, white wine set

 

I love my job. Oh no, I have sooo many delicious truffles to manage!  :D


Edited by magenta_majors, 03 June 2014 - 11:11 AM.

.--. .- -. - ... / --- .--. - .. --- -. .- .-..





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

EV SSL Certificate