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Corrective Action - Freezer Storage Problems


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#1 Pizza&Sandwich

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 06:19 PM

We received a minor on our audit because "the freezer area has a significant amount of the aisle space blocked with pallets of frozen ingredients or finished product which impedes inspection."

My question to all of you: What could be appropriate corrective actions? We are currently in talks and getting quotes on an addition to the building including freezer and warehouse space, but that will not be complete until late fall - next spring.



#2 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 06:22 PM

Sometimes corrective actions take time and capital to accomplish.  Auditing bodies know this.  I would put that as your corrective action.  "Facility intends to build an addition to the freezer to accommodate proper storage of ingredients and finished product." (or whatever).

 

Is there a freezer warehouse where you can rent space?  We had to do that for a while with refrigerated storage for the yogurt plant I worked at under SQF.


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#3 Snookie

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 06:29 PM

Sometimes corrective actions take time and capital to accomplish.  Auditing bodies know this.  I would put that as your corrective action.  "Facility intends to build an addition to the freezer to accommodate proper storage of ingredients and finished product." (or whatever).

 

Is there a freezer warehouse where you can rent space?  We had to do that for a while with refrigerated storage for the yogurt plant I worked at under SQF.

 

If you do rent space, check licensing.  In some states you have to a separate type of license for the Health District. 


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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 06:55 PM

Dear Pizza&Sandwich,

 

I agree with previous suggestions, it's sometimes termed a "delaying action" if nothing can be done.

 

IMEX, it is also beneficial to submit some documental activity even if none immediately intended.

 

I experienced a NC that the insulation of one cold storage room (filled with over-produced goods) was inadequate which it was (snow-covered wall!).  Impossible to transfer / empty room  so I obtained some quotations to repair the wall. No further comment. I'm sure auditors must have seen it all before also. :smile:

 

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Charles.C


#5 Pizza&Sandwich

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 06:56 PM

We currently have 300+ pallets at another location. Most of these are distributed to customers from that location, some are brought back to our facility.

Sometimes corrective actions take time and capital to accomplish.  Auditing bodies know this.  I would put that as your corrective action.  "Facility intends to build an addition to the freezer to accommodate proper storage of ingredients and finished product." (or whatever).

 

 

I brought this point up several times to the auditor and he indicated that this may not be approved by the certification body (they approve before the auditor).



#6 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 07:00 PM

We currently have 300+ pallets at another location. Most of these are distributed to customers from that location, some are brought back to our facility.

 

I brought this point up several times to the auditor and he indicated that this may not be approved by the certification body (they approve before the auditor).

 

Well.. I don't know your auditor or CB and while there is usually a time frame for NC's to be accomplished in there are usually also a level of understanding when it comes to major projects. 

 

3.2 Facility Audit Corrective Actions
 
All non-conformities and their resolution shall be documented by the SQF auditor.
 
A minor non-conformity shall be corrected, verified and closed out in the SQF assessment database within thirty
(30) calendar days of the completion of the facility audit. Extensions may be granted by the certification body
where there is no immediate threat to product safety and quality, and alternative, temporary methods of control
are initiated. The supplier shall be advised of the extended timeframe. Extended timeframes for close out of minor
non-conformities shall not impede and delay certificate issuance.
 
A major non-conformity shall be corrected and appropriate corrective action verified and closed out in the SQF
assessment database within fourteen (14) calendar days of the completion of the facility audit.
In circumstances where the corrective action involves structural change or cannot be corrected due to seasonal
conditions or installation lead times, this period can be extended provided the corrective action time frame is
acceptable to the certification body and temporary action is taken by the supplier to mitigate the risk to product
safety or quality. However, in such cases, the non-conformity must still be closed out on the SQF assessment
database and the auditor shall document all details of justification of the extension, how the risk is being
controlled, and the agreed completion date.
 
If the SQF auditor considers that a critical non-conformity exists during a facility audit, the auditor shall
immediately advise the supplier and notify the certification body. A critical non-conformity raised at a certification
audit results in an automatic failure of the audit, and the supplier must re-apply for certification (refer to 3.5
below).

Edited by Mr. Incognito, 02 February 2015 - 07:01 PM.

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#7 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 07:03 PM

Your situation is not one that is an immediate food safety concern.  It can cause an issue with FIFO or inspection.  Maybe, depending on the circumstances, you can institute a temporary order that pallets can only sit in one location for 24 hours on the floor before they have to be moved to allow for inspection of the area behind them... or something as a immediate temporary solution until the expansion can take place.


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#8 RG3

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 07:03 PM

Hi Pizza&Sandwich,

 

The above suggestions are good for long term, and yes in some cases this will be accepted. I've done it plenty of times. I'm in the middle of one right now, having to build another toilet in the gentlemen's wash room. However, in this NC there can be some short resolutions before moving items to a different building or creating more space. This may also depend on what section the auditor got you for. Your corrective action could be something as simple as saying that your logistics would improve which would cause less product to be in the aisles to something as painting some lines on the floor to allow a pathway or restrictions for pallets not to placed.



#9 Simon

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 06:49 AM

Have you done the 5 why's for root cause?


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#10 Pizza&Sandwich

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 03:43 PM

Have you done the 5 why's for root cause?

Sure:

Why does the freezer have pallets stored in the aisle that impedes inspection?

Because there are too many pallets to be stored on the racks properly and the freezer is inadequate

Why is the freezer inadequate?

Because we produce anywhere from 40-75 pallets of product a day, have to store enough 'raw' materials for at least a week's worth of production, and store enough finished goods to be shipped out for a week

Why do we produce & store so much product?

Because we are a manufacturer, distributor, and re-distributor, and our customers expect to receive product when they order it

Why do we manufacture, distribute, and re-distribute?

Because that's what the company was founded on and how we make our money

Why?

Because the owners say so :biggrin:



#11 Leila Burin

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 12:53 PM

hello, normal wise auditors expect evidences to close the NC of the CORRECTIONS, but not of the action plan of the corrective action.

So, if you send training records, change of procedures, signs in the floor to keep empty some areas, posts in the wall, etc., that would be enough for the auditor.

But of course also send the action plan for the corrective action that could demand long time actions, and investments.

I attach the BRC Root Cause Analysis, may be the Ishikawa treatment could lead you to several others plans beyond “Mom said so” (just kidding!!)

J

Leila

 

http://www.brcglobal.../rootcause.html



#12 fgjuadi

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 03:42 PM

Sure:

Why does the freezer have pallets stored in the aisle that impedes inspection?

Because there are too many pallets to be stored on the racks properly and the freezer is inadequate

Why is the freezer inadequate?

Because we produce anywhere from 40-75 pallets of product a day, have to store enough 'raw' materials for at least a week's worth of production, and store enough finished goods to be shipped out for a week

I think this is where your 5 whys went off the rails -

 

Try "Why isn't there 6 inches between pallets on the floor"

Because we can fit in 60 pallets with 6 inches between them, but we can fit in 75 without rows between them

 

So I would suggest as a short term corrective action (until the new freezer arrives)

Using marking tape to put down areas where it is acceptable to place pallets

Making sure when there are the maximum amount of pallets the freezer is labelled as to capacity

Storing pallets above capacity at the secondary location

 

Freezer space is a bigger issue than just pest control inspection - you need to make sure nothing is leaking, and the more stuff is clumped together, the harder it is to cool the insides

 

Trust me, we have a huge space issue right now.  We're expanding the building and we're about to get a walkin twice the size of our current situation.  It's also a safety hazard for us not to have clear walkways.  We had an elderly employee who was moving stuff between two pallets and tripped and hurt her knee pretty badly, so now the rules is if you go to put something away and it's in an asile or walkway, you're not allowed to do that.


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#13 JKRed

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 03:53 PM

Man, a guy like me can really learn a lot just from reading the random thread in this forum -- love this place!

 

Thanks for the question and detailed responses with thorough explanations.

 

Jeff


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