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#1 noahchris97

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 02:50 PM

Morning and Happy Holidays,

                                                  I am looking for some insight / info on employees drinking water (store bought water bottles ) on the production floor what people have done to address this. I'm in the food contact packaging industry. I was thinking company issue designated water bottles. Also do I have to have an assessment done as well as a water bottle policy or statement? If so does anyone have a sample of what a water policy should say?

 

Side Note: we are seeking level 2 SQF certification for the first time.

 

Thanks,

 



#2 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 02:58 PM

I worked at a pasta plant and we had a policy that if employees wanted they could drink water out of a water bottle provided that the bottle was purchased from a store and had the label affixed.  So no sports bottles.

 

They were allowed to refill the bottle but I think the idea was to make sure it looked like it was store bought water.

 

They were allowed to drink the water on the floor at tables we had where they did weight checks.  They weren't supposed to walk around with them or anything like that other than to and from their work area.  Of course pasta is a lower risk food and if you make packaging for higher risk products that may not be the best idea.


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#3 it_rains_inside

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 03:41 PM

This is a bit of do as I say not as I do advice. We currently allow bottled water in original store bought container OR see through sports bottle (to ensure it really only is water and not pop, coffee, etc....) We also have water dispensers at each work station w/ paper (single use, disposable cups).

 

We are moving towards no water bottles on the production floor at all (2015 goal), and relying only on the water dispensers,  at each work station. One reason we do not allow food/beverages on the production floor is to mitigate hand to mouth motions, if you think about it, water bottles are one of the biggest offenders. You unscrew bottle, take a drink (lips touch bottle), screw lid back on - hand touching the exact area you had your mouth on..... germ city. Plus we have spent a great deal of $$ installing air conditioners (towards the end of 2013) Where summers used to mean 100F days on the floor, this past summer -the whole facility stayed in the 70's range. Pure Bliss... We are fortunate enough to make a decision like this... not all companies share the luxury of air conditioning... whatever decision you make, ensure that there is no dehydration risk to employees but products are not at risk for contamination either. 


Edited by it_rains_inside, 22 December 2014 - 03:41 PM.

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#4 jkoratich712

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 04:26 PM

At a previous employer (bakery), we had the water dispensers (or a water cooler that was filled by the supervisor) on the floor with the cone, disposable, paper cups. It was kept away from the production lines and employee's were not permitted to carry the disposable cup to their work station. It was also on a cleaning schedule, and only the supervisors could fill it up to ensure that only water was ever put in it. In the warehouse area, water bottles were permitted at one job location where the employee couldn't leave their work area. They were only permitted to have a clear bottle that had a cap that was connected to the bottle - as we didn't want caps to get lost. Product was already in a sealed package by this point.

 

At a different employer (coffee production), water dispensers were at each line, with cone shaped cups that were disposable. In the roasting area (which was a control room), operator's were allowed to have water - whether in a cup, bottle, etc. - at their work station (desk/computer). They were not permitted to take it out to the roasters themselves.

 

At my current job (another bakery), we do not let any sort of water bottles on the production floor, but we do have water fountains.

 

I would include whatever you decide on in a policy - possibly your GMP's - as well as train on it so that employee's will know what they are allowed to do/not do. At the end of the day you need to take your operator's safety into account as well as the safety of the product.



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#5 fgjuadi

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 04:27 PM

I've worked in a place with very high temperatures, where it was a health hazard to restrict water - absoluetely no personal containers!  We only allowed them to drink out of the paper cups from the water dispenser - they have pointed bottoms so there's no sitting it down, or accidentally knocking it into product, or picking it up and using it for something else, or taking a swig of sanitizer becuase someone filled a water bottle with it.    It was located next to a hand washing sink. 


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#6 Snookie

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 04:48 PM

We have company issued water bottles with a water dispenser on the floor for fill ups.  Due to the high heats, they drink constantly.  If they needed to use water cups at the dispenser, no work would ever get done.  Especially in the summer its hot.  Based on how the lines work, contamination has not been an issue. 


Edited by Snookie, 23 December 2014 - 05:31 PM.

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#7 SpursGirl

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 05:28 PM

We only allow water dispensed from the installed water cooler (we take samples of the water for testing on a monthly basis and swab the dispensing tap) but only allow water to be dispensed into disposabel cups - no personal bottles - and restrict the areas where consumption is permitted.

 

So far we have had no issues from oour SQF auditors.

 

S



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#8 K Hallman

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 07:48 PM

Working in packaging I've seen it both ways, using coolers and allowing bottled water.  If allowing bottled water be aware if you are finding caps here and there throughout your facility.  Also, definitely want it to be a store bought water bottle.  In a previous job we allowed clear plastic containers and we got hit when an auditor found an empty sports drink bottle in a trash can.  No signs of sports drink in it, but couldn't prove it wasn't consumed on the production floor. 



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#9 Charles.C

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 08:57 AM

Morning and Happy Holidays,

                                                  I am looking for some insight / info on employees drinking water (store bought water bottles ) on the production floor what people have done to address this. I'm in the food contact packaging industry. I was thinking company issue designated water bottles. Also do I have to have an assessment done as well as a water bottle policy or statement? If so does anyone have a sample of what a water policy should say?

 

Side Note: we are seeking level 2 SQF certification for the first time.

 

Thanks,

 

Banned, from the get-go. Environment AC. Saves the trees as well.

 

Water cooler / cups installed despite my sanitary protestations. Every auditor has had no comments. Fact of Life i guess. :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#10 rrana

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 04:23 PM

At my previous employer we tried water fountains , but some employees complained that they need cups to drink water, gave them those but , found littering everywhere with empty cups hiding around the corer, very difficult to control. so my suggestion is please do your risk assessment in implementing the water bottles as it seems easy ,but no matter , what you do there is always some kind of littering with the empty bottles found, since its a high risk facility with a direct food contact packaging, you might want to go with independent water coolers or water dispensers...



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#11 ctzinck

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 05:22 PM

Good afternoon,

I work as a SQF practitioner for a packaging converter In Georgia and we had an SQF Consultant come in before our last audit and this question was addressed, our current policy is absolutely no food or drink of any kind allowed on the production floor other than at the water coolers that have been provided thru out the plant. The consultant told us that water bottles were allowed as long as it was in a see thru spill proof bottle and the bottles were not setting on the production equipment. Store bought bottles of water were not allowed because they were not spill proof. 



#12 Charles.C

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 05:59 PM

Good afternoon,

I work as a SQF practitioner for a packaging converter In Georgia and we had an SQF Consultant come in before our last audit and this question was addressed, our current policy is absolutely no food or drink of any kind allowed on the production floor other than at the water coolers that have been provided thru out the plant. The consultant told us that water bottles were allowed as long as it was in a see thru spill proof bottle and the bottles were not setting on the production equipment. Store bought bottles of water were not allowed because they were not spill proof. 

 

Hi ctzinck,

 

Thks for the posts and Welcome to the Forum !

 

Never having met one, I'm curious. Is an SQF Consultant's advice suppposed to be any more reliable than the information on the SQF website ?.

 

I didn't even realise a spill-proof bottle existed. I anticipate some interesting conceptual arguments on the production floor. :smile:


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#13 ctzinck

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 06:34 PM

Hi ctzinck,

 

Thks for the posts and Welcome to the Forum !

 

Never having met one, I'm curious. Is an SQF Consultant's advice suppposed to be any more reliable than the information on the SQF website ?.

 

I didn't even realise a spill-proof bottle existed. I anticipate some interesting conceptual arguments on the production floor. :smile:

In my opinion the consultants were very useful and helpful in clearing up some of the vagueness in the code and was already aware of what auditors would be looking for. 

to add to the water bottle discussion I'm finding it difficult to find a reusable see thru spill proof bottle that will also comply with our Glass/Brittle Plastic policy before we try to get our policy rewritten to allow water bottles in production areas.



#14 Simon

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 06:42 PM

In the UK the only acceptable method is water dispensers located in low risk area (away from direct production) with these disposable conical containers.  A quick drink and in the bin...job done.

 

Attached File  whitepaperconecup.jpg   22.88KB   1 downloads

 

 

 

 


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#15 JPO

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 06:56 PM

Our facility has the production area (blending and packaging) walled off from the warehouse.  It's a building within a building.  We allow water bottles (similar to those stated already, water only, non-breakable, spill resistant, see through, name labeled on bottle) outside the production areas on shelves that are on the outside wall of the production space.  

 

Warehouse employees are allowed water bottles in the warehouse office (not on forklifts or while walking the warehouse). 

 

Get a drink, close the bottle, go wash your hands and change your gloves, get back to work. 



#16 Simon

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 07:42 PM

As an aside does anybody know what the latest version of the SQF standard requires?


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#17 Tony-C

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 04:19 AM

SQF Code Edition 7.2 March 2014 - 11.3 Personnel Hygiene and Welfare States:
11.3.1.3 Smoking, chewing, eating, drinking or spitting is not permitted in any food processing or food handling areas.

General Guidance for Developing, Documenting, Implementing, Maintaining, and Auditing an SQF System Module 11: Good Manufacturing Practices for Processing of Food Products SQF Code, Edition 7.2 July 2014 - 11.3.1 Implementation Guidance States:
'A risk analysis for drinking water must be conducted and controls must be developed by the facility to minimize the risk to the safety and quality of the product if it is provided in a production area. If water is consumed in the processing area, it is recommended that employees wash hands before returning to their station, or, at a minimum, hand sanitizer needs to be applied prior to returning to their work station.'

 

Of the options discussed a water dispenser is the best one although I am not in agreement with the consultant that said it should be a 'see thru spill proof bottle' I prefer to use colored bottles and I would be more concerned that they were flexible not brittle rather than whether they were 'spill proof' or not.

 

I am not a fan of the white conical cups either especially if your product is white (milk) but it was mentioned that they were used away from the production area.

 

For me the best way to supply drinking water to the production area would be by installing a drinking fountain.

 

Regards,

 

Tony
 



#18 Charles.C

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 06:25 AM

I support post #7. IMO some of the previous posts are a recipe for disaster from a control POV.

 

But, eg post #6, I can envisage "force majeure" coming into play if air-conditioning is not a process  viable option.


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#19 Simon

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 07:06 AM

SQF Code Edition 7.2 March 2014 - 11.3 Personnel Hygiene and Welfare States:
11.3.1.3 Smoking, chewing, eating, drinking or spitting is not permitted in any food processing or food handling areas.

General Guidance for Developing, Documenting, Implementing, Maintaining, and Auditing an SQF System Module 11: Good Manufacturing Practices for Processing of Food Products SQF Code, Edition 7.2 July 2014 - 11.3.1 Implementation Guidance States:
'A risk analysis for drinking water must be conducted and controls must be developed by the facility to minimize the risk to the safety and quality of the product if it is provided in a production area. If water is consumed in the processing area, it is recommended that employees wash hands before returning to their station, or, at a minimum, hand sanitizer needs to be applied prior to returning to their work station.'

Thanks Tony, the original poster was in food packaging.
Are the SQF requirements the same?

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#20 Tony-C

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 12:10 PM

Thanks Tony, the original poster was in food packaging.
Are the SQF requirements the same?

 

Yep :sleazy:

 

SQF Code Edition 7.2 March 2014 Module 13: Food Safety Fundamentals – Good Manufacturing Practices for Production of Food Packaging - 13.3.1 Personnel States:
'13.3.1.3 Smoking, chewing, eating, drinking or spitting is not permitted in areas where product is produced, stored or otherwise exposed.'

Guidance for Developing, Documenting, Implementing, Maintaining and Auditing an SQF System SQF Code, Edition 7.2 – Module 13: Food Safety Fundamentals – Good Manufacturing Practices for Production of Food Packaging 13.3.1 Implementation Guidance States:
'Smoking, eating, chewing and drinking are not permitted in areas where product is produced, stored or otherwise exposed. A risk analysis for drinking water must be conducted and controls must be developed by the facility to minimize the risk to the safety and quality of the product if it is provided in a production area where product is exposed. If water is consumed in the processing area, it is recommended that employees wash hands before returning to their station, or hand sanitizer needs to be applied prior to returning to their work station.'

Regards,

 

Tony



#21 Charles.C

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 12:41 PM

It appears the Guidance is inconsistent with the Code .

 

Where there is a divergence between the guidance document and the SQF Code, the SQF Code (English) prevails.

 

But as illustrated in SQF threads in this Forum for other topics,  the precise conclusion/interpretation  may sometimes depend on the (individual) Auditor.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#22 Tony-C

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 05:56 AM

It appears the Guidance is inconsistent with the Code .

 

But as illustrated in SQF threads in this Forum for other topics,  the precise conclusion/interpretation  may sometimes depend on the (individual) Auditor.

 

Agreed, it may depend on the auditor but ultimately if you disagree with the interpretation of the auditor you can take this up with the certification body.

 

Some more from SQF:

 

General Guidance for Developing, Documenting, Implementing, Maintaining, and Auditing an SQF System
Purpose of the Guidance Documents:
The purpose of this series of SQF Guidance Documents is to assist suppliers with designing, developing, documenting, implementing and maintaining an SQF System using the SQF Code, edition 7, and to assist SQF registered auditors in auditing the SQF Code, edition 7.

Guidance is intended to support the SQF Code, but does not replace it. It is not an auditable document, nor is it definitive and applicable in every situation. Suppliers, consultants, and auditors are required to understand the food safety (and quality, where applicable) risks in a given industry sector and are able to apply the SQF Code to effectively control those risks.

Auditing Guidance
This will include suggestions of what the auditor may seek as evidence of compliance for this sub-element. The information provided is not exhaustive and may not apply in every situation.

13.3.1 Auditing Guidance

Evidence may include:
Drinking water in processing areas is controlled and managed to minimize risk to the product.

 

Regards,

 

Tony



#23 Charles.C

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 01:47 PM

Hi Tony,

 

Thanks for extracts.

Guidance is intended to support the SQF Code, but does not replace it. It is not an auditable document, nor is it definitive and applicable in every situation

 

I interpret the above as concurring with "prevails".

 

IMO, SQF are simply  resistant to (any) Change(s).

 

Net result - confusion.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#24 azaam nafiz

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 04:37 AM

Hi,

 

What about Paddle operated drinking water stations?

 

azaam







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