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Record retention and destruction

record destruction

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4 replies to this topic

Jess S

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 08:08 PM

Government regulations and GFSI standards require us to keep food processing records for a certain period of time.  My question then is...what do you do with them when the time is up?  Do you throw them out with the trash?  Do any regulations require complete destruction (shredding or complete destruction) or is it up to the site?  The plant that I am working in would fall under FDA and BRC guidelines.  


Thank you,



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Posted 08 June 2016 - 01:31 PM

Hi Jess,

I think the main consideration would be for private label products. Your company's senior management can set their own guidelines for your own products' documentation, but if you make products for another company they may have specific rules about how they want their documentation disposed of.


also, the vulnerability and food defense requirements should include an assessment of company documentation and what the risks are if someone (i.e. criminals, terrorists, subversives)  got a hold of your recipes or other documentation. if the risk is determined to be medium or high, you may want to add a control (like requirement to shred some or all old documents).


i hope that helps a bit.




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Posted 12 July 2017 - 08:11 AM

Hi Guys


Can anyone advise on a justification for record retention time for products with indefinite shelf-life ? eg. Spirits 




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Posted 12 July 2017 - 03:53 PM

Hi Guys


Can anyone advise on a justification for record retention time for products with indefinite shelf-life ? eg. Spirits 



 While your product has an indefinite shelf life, it still has a practical market life-cycle (e.g. the supermarket is not still selling that lot of material 2 years later). You only really need to keep records for as long as would be necessary to support your recall plan and protect public health in the event a problem was found. If someone found an issue 8 years post production a recall wouldn't really be effective since the likelihood of your notice reaching anyone with a bottle from that lot is minimal.


The legal documentation retention periods (3,5,7 years depending on document/certification scheme) should be sufficient for most market life-cycles. Though if you're in a business where people will be keeping things for a long time (such as food storage/emergency rations), longer record retention might be more prudent.

Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

Subscribe to the blog at furfarmandfork.com for food safety research, insights, and analysis.

Bhupendra Sharma

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 11:25 AM

Hi Jess,


As per industrial practice and auditor view , retention period for record can be Shelf of the product + one year. 


Please tell me if i am wrong buddies....




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