We are in the process of starting up a new feed/food processing facility, and plan to attempt SQF Level 2 certification as soon as possible.
According to SQF Code 188.8.131.52, "Product formulation, manufacturing processes and the fulfillment of product requirements shall be validated by facility trials, shelf life trials and product testing."
I am not sure how to fulfill this requirement.
We are going to be producing oat groats (simply taking whole oats and knocking the hull off to leave only the groat), and then using those groats to make steam-rolled oats (literally just oat groats and steam).
This is a very low-risk product and process, as nothing is intended to be, or labeled as, RTE.
I am struggling to figure out how we can fulfill this requirement...breaking down the parts of the code:
"Product formulation" - we simply don't have any formulation. It's just steamed oats, with nothing else added.
"Manufacturing process" - our process is very simple, and except for the de-hulling and steaming process steps, the rest of the process flow is simply storage, sizing and cleaning steps.
"Fulfillment of product requirements" - we'll do on-site testing for physical characteristics and mycotoxin levels. I have excellent peer-reviewed documentation that shows we don't need to do microbiological testing on the product. So, unless we get a customer that wants something more, that's all we're going to do. So, this constitutes "product testing"...but how do I validate that?
Shelf-life trials" - we have NO need for shelf-life trials, as this is a product that's been made for hundreds of years, so we don't need to re-invent the wheel...do we??
"Facility trials" - is this just observing the process we're currently going through, which is basically testing and fine-tuning the system before we actually flip the switch to go live and produce saleable product? Otherwise, we have no need to conduct any facility trials beyond that.
Any help or experienced opinions/thoughts would be most appreciated!!