Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation
Photo
- - - - -

2.3.2 SQF Product Specifications Help

sqf product specification product register raw goods finished goods packaging materials

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

#1 zechzplz

zechzplz

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 30 posts
  • 14 thanks
3
Neutral

  • United States
    United States

Posted 07 January 2015 - 10:07 PM

I work at a produce company and we currently have 30 products that are covered under SQF. We currently have a register that has the following details of each product: item code, supersedes date, item description, stock U/M, ingredients, UPC/PLU code, if it’s available for resale, if the product is an allergen, if there’s any microbiological, chemical, or physical analysis, defects, hazard analysis classification, and who it was authorized by. I’ve attached an example of our register. However, we don’t really have any product specifications.

 

According to 2.3.2, would I have to make a raw material specification for all 30 of these products and the raw packaging specifications as well, or will the details from the register be enough?. We have lots of different types of packaging material so if we had to make specific material specifications, it would take a very long time. In addition, in my company’s register, we also have stuff like brooms, aprons, etc… listed. This doesn’t need to be in the register right? <- the person who did the register has left and I want to eliminate any unnecessary items! This is also the case for our finished goods though we don't really process any items. We just trim and repack! We have hundreds of finished goods and we have a register (it’s actually combined with our raw materials register), but no product specifications....do you think we would have to have specifications for all of these finished goods?

 

We’ve actually had three SQF audits (and two surveillance audits) where no one said anything about the product specifications (well, I wasn’t here for the audits, but that’s what it seems like since we still don’t exactly have product specifications!). I’m not sure if this was because our register was enough and included enough information to be like a product specification, or if we somehow got lucky. We’re gearing up for level 3 and I want to make sure everything is correct and in place!

 

 

P.S. If I will need to make product specifications, what attributes do you include for your raw, packaging, and finished goods specifications? Does it have to be a page or in-depth? If someone has any examples of their specifications, that would be helpful! Thank you in advance! 

Attached Files


Edited by chefvi13, 08 January 2015 - 02:42 PM.


#2 sbarzee

sbarzee

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 28 posts
  • 2 thanks
1
Neutral

  • United States
    United States

Posted 08 January 2015 - 07:36 PM

We had to create spec sheets from scratch, and I just included ingredient and packaging details, brix, microbial criteria, and organoleptic properties. It's supposed to be somewhat dependent on the specifications that customers require. Some customers require certain Brix or microbial criteria. It doesn't look like you puree or cut or process the products beyond perhaps washing and packaging, so perhaps your attached register is sufficient. Previous audit reports don't leave any clues as to what the auditor evaluated for that section? Best of luck!



Thanked by 1 Member:

#3 Snookie

Snookie

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,625 posts
  • 267 thanks
171
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 08 January 2015 - 07:38 PM

Generally speaking you don't want to have micro limits such as SPC, or Y&M as part of your specification as they are not useful on raw produce.  If your micro levels are pathogens, then that would be a different thing.  There is a great white paper on this from United Fresh, but I don't have a copy at my finger tips and google did not immediately find it.  I tried their website, but since I am not a member could not get to it (that I could see). 

 

It has been a while since I did produce, but if I understand your questions, I always kept my packaging register--my packaging materials only.  It listed all of the packaging materials we used along with when their CoC  expired etc, OTR, mil strength or other needed information.   

 

Raw materials are produce which rarely came with a CoC.    SQF says:

 

 

2.3.2.4 Raw and packaging materials and ingredients shall be validated to ensure product safety and quality is not compromised and the material is fit for its intended purpose. Validation of raw materials and ingredients shall include certificate of conformance; or certificate of analysis; or sampling and testing.

 

The important part for SQF for produce is, "...or sampling and testing."  So how many were sampled and how they were tested was also on my register.  Most often testing included things like pressure or brix testing. 

 

Finished product specifications are required, but in the case of produce don't have to be difficult.  While they include packaging requirements, we had the many options listed e.g. apples were packaged in 2 Lb., 5 lb. bag, 10 pound tub etc.  Iceberg is in a (number here ) OTR bag, Romaine is in a (number here) OTR bag.  I did not put a lot of detail in this example but you get the idea.  In the previous operations I was in, it was easier to keep the various options listed with the commodity. 

 

I kept a register of raw materials, a register of packaging materials and a register of finished product specifications.  Keep it as simple as possible but provide the level of detail you need. 

 

Have never had brooms, aprons or anything of that nature on these registers. 


Edited by Snookie, 08 January 2015 - 07:40 PM.

Posted Image
Live Long & Prosper

Thanked by 1 Member:

#4 fgjuadi

fgjuadi

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • Banned
  • 898 posts
  • 198 thanks
22
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 January 2015 - 07:45 PM

There's a whole section in the files library titled "Product Specifications", but it only has two entries! 

 

Here's a link to the example in the files library if you need a template - http://www.ifsqn.com...ation-template/

 

I'm sure there's more on the forums, I'll look around when I get a breather (hectic day today!)


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

Thanked by 1 Member:

#5 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 17,396 posts
  • 4842 thanks
945
Excellent

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

Posted 08 January 2015 - 10:21 PM

Dear chefvi,

 

I am not a SQF user but variations of yr question have started probably at least 10 threads on this forum. Most of these threads contain specimen product specification sheets. If you try searching "product specification" I predict a variety of hits.

 

AFAI can see, the data in yr excel sheet unfortunately bear minimal resemblance to typical ingredient product specifications (if you compare to some examples on this forum you will immediately see what I mean). I assume the 30 products of interest to SQF which you mention are chemical entities as against the miscellaneous items in yr attachment.?

 

Many people consider the product specification as one of the most important items to generate for characterising the product. The basic BPC(A) format is relatively standardised for particular categories of, for example, food ingredients but the details making up a product specification will likely relate to the specific product type.

 

It's unclear what kind of business / items are involved so IMO it's difficult to say much more without further input.

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

PS - added later - several examples of commercial product specification layouts are in and around the post sub-linked in this post -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...vor/#entry83304


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Thanked by 1 Member:

#6 RG3

RG3

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 501 posts
  • 164 thanks
74
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them" Albert Einstein

Posted 08 January 2015 - 11:14 PM

Hi chefvi13,

It looks like what you have is something known as a BOM (Bill of Material)[Things needed to make the product]. This is not considered a product specification sheet. As mentioned above you can ask your raw material suppliers for their product specification sheets and that should be suffice. Log it in a book by your Raw Material Code. However in the past I've had some over zealous customers that required us to HOLD raw material based on testing components for which we did not have the proper instruments to test ( :secret:  Magenta sound familiar)

 

In a separate log I would archive all the finished goods. Needs a bit more detail than what you have in your attachment. See below for some idea of more or less what it should have.

 

(Short) Description

Flavor:?

Color:?

Physical:

Chemical:

Microbiological:

Ingredients:

Origin:

Packaging:

Shelf life:

 

If they didn't look at this at Level 2 they will definitely look at this at Level 3. The question is, "How do the people on the line know what their producing is being manufactured according to your specification?" The only way you can prove this is to have product specification sheets on the shop floor.


Edited by RG3, 08 January 2015 - 11:35 PM.


Thanked by 1 Member:

#7 Madam A. D-tor

Madam A. D-tor

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 615 posts
  • 216 thanks
35
Excellent

  • Netherlands
    Netherlands
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:meat, meat products, ready to eat, food safety, QMS, audits, hazard analyses, IFS, BRC, SQF, HACCP, ISO 9001, ISO 22000

Posted 12 January 2015 - 02:28 PM

Dear chefvi13

 

Specifications in produce (unprocessed fresh fruits and vegetables) are always a hard question.

 

Raw material specifications are agreed with your suppliers. In here specifications for unprocessed fruits and vegetables are mostly general trading standards. UNECE standards and standards of the fruit and vegetable board are often used. Raw material specifications for unprocessed fruits and vegetables include items as  name, origin, packaging (bulk, crates), size, class (I, II), deviations accepted, colour and race.

I do not know if your sourcing from growers or on the market or from wholesalers. For growers a lot of these items are usually included in the contract with your company. Sometimes there is even a buying specification. For wholesalers the specification might be only one line in the order, including all named issues.

 

Specifications for packaging materials must be provided by your packaging material suppliers. There should be a description of the materials, reference to legislation and a declaration that this is food grade. For Europe this declaration should state the directives 10/2011 and 1935/2004. I am not sure what is comparable to this in the US.

 

If brooms, gloves, disposable sleeves/aprons, cutting boards, etc. have contact with the product directly or indirectly, it is wise to ask a specification and food contact declaration from your suppliers.

 

Finished product specifications are what you agree with your customers.

For companies here, comparable to yours, it is mostly the same standards as mentioned for raw materials. You do not process the products.

Sometimes retailers and further processors let you fill a product sheet or product questionnaire or they give you a sort of specification.

For products that you pack this should minimum include: product, race/variety, number/amount, sort packaging, packaging materials, class, land of origin, labeling, deviations accepted, colour.

Sometimes these specifications are kept by sales or by operators on the packing line.

 

Mostly seen for fresh unprocessed vegetables and fruits are the general trading documents.

However, even if I assume, that there are no real specifications, I always ask for specifications in my audits. Just to see, if staff is aware of these general trading documents to fulfill the requirements of specifications and if they have the correct version of the standards, etc.

 

Please note:

I have no knowledge/experience in SQF;

I am not situated in US.

 

I just gave my opinion about specifications in fresh unprocessed fruits and vegetables.


Kind Regards,

Madam A. D-tor

Thanked by 1 Member:

#8 zechzplz

zechzplz

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 30 posts
  • 14 thanks
3
Neutral

  • United States
    United States

Posted 06 March 2015 - 06:56 PM

I know I am super late in this reply (a lot going on), but thank you so much everyone for your answers and responses!!! 







0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

EV SSL Certificate